Thursday, July 07, 2011
by Steve Metzger
illustrated by Ted Arnold
Orchard Books/Scholastic, July 2011
review copy provided by the publisher
You be the detective! There are 24 Mother Goose rhymes hidden in the story and pictures of this hard-boiled detective story (which comes in the form of a graphic novel/picture book mash up).
Detective Blue, whose horn-blowing and cow-tending have been left in his past, makes short work of the crimes that come his way -- the dish running away with the spoon, Mary's lamb trying to sneak into school wearing a disguise. Then Jack Sprat comes running down the street yelling (not because someone offered him a fatty sandwich), "Miss Muffet is missing! Miss Muffet is missing!" and Detective Blue is on the case. He follows clues that take him from Little Bo Peep to Humpty Dumpty to Jack's Corner Pie Shop. Never fear, there's a fairy tale ending. (Literally.)
I can't wait to share this book with kids! It's a fun story with kid-sized literary allusions. It's got Ted Arnold's Fly Guy-style illustrations. It's a great (quick) model of the conventions of the mystery genre. It's a great (big-enough-to-share-with-a-group) model of the conventions of graphic novels. And there's that checklist of 24 Mother Goose rhymes that will pull kids back into the story until they find them all.
If you buy one book this summer/week, this should be the one.