This versatile Newbery Medalist has crafted another winning series for young readers, this one for kids who are ready for books that are a little longer than the stories in her perennially popular Henry and Mudge series. The High-Rise Private Eyes are two big-city sophisticates, Bunny Brown, a stylish and brilliant female rabbit, and Jack Jones, a rather timid but inquisitive raccoon. The two are best friends who live in separate apartments in the same high-rise building, and together they specialize in solving minor crimes in their neighborhood. In this book, the second in the series, Bunny and Jack track down a bird-watching cat who has made off with monogrammed binoculars belonging to their neighbor Miss Nancy, a delightful goose who gives piano lessons on her grand piano and grows yellow roses on her balcony. The winsome animal creatures are brought to life with Karas’s (The Seals on the Bus, p. 633, etc.) pastel illustrations done in acrylic, gouache, and pencil, in a style similar to that of Marc Brown. Teachers will like the format of this series, with clever integration of different types of writing: the words of the title on an index card, the contents page on a legal pad, lists of clues, and a letter from the detective duo on the inside back cover flap. Bunny and Jack solve their first case in The High-Rise Private Eyes: The Case of the Missing Monkey (not reviewed), with more cases in the works. The series will help fill the demand for easy mysteries that are accessible to young readers in the early grades and funny, too. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2000

ISBN: 0-688-16310-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2000

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This funny, endearing addition to the series will delight early readers, especially dog lovers.


From the King & Kayla series

King and Kayla, the detective duo, are back to solve the mystery of Kayla’s missing tooth.

King, the happy and hilarious golden retriever narrator, anxiously awaits the return of his human, Kayla, who’s been at school for “eleventy seven hours. Maybe even eleventy seven days.” When Kayla finally arrives home, she has big news: She’s lost a tooth! Kayla is excited to use her class’s tooth-fairy pillow that night, but, alas, her tooth is missing! Though King discovers the pillow smells like turkey sandwiches (his favorite food), just like Kayla’s teeth, her tooth is nowhere to be found. The pair checks the car, the last place Kayla saw the tooth, and King finds lots of crumbs (more of his favorite foods) but no tooth. And so it goes, and Kayla must go to bed with an empty pillow. In the morning, Kayla finds a dollar, a dog treat, and a note from the tooth fairy even though her tooth wasn’t there. But when King notices the pillow still smells like turkey sandwiches, he’s found the final clue. Each page includes illustrations that are often humorous and highlight the affection between King and Kayla, who is depicted with brown skin and Afro-textured hair.

This funny, endearing addition to the series will delight early readers, especially dog lovers. (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-56145-880-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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The creator of Aunt Eater and Inspector Hopper opens a new easy-reader series featuring an even less conventional sleuth. Two specters haunting a house in the aptly named town of Ghostly are frightened by mysterious, un-ghostly clackings and clickings. Enter Dirk Bones, skeletal investigative journalist for the Ghostly Tombs. Properly outfitted in trench coat and green fedora, Bones sets out into a stormy night on a successful investigation that takes him from creepy basement to spooky graveyard, and includes encounters with a terrified werewolf, a vampire Emeril wannabe and other typical town residents—all easily recognizable but decidedly non-menacing figures in the cartoon illustrations. A burbling cauldron of “bat foot stew with crispy worm brains” is but one of the shivery delights that await emergent readers in this not-too-creepy caper. Stay tuned for sequels. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-073764-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2006

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