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CHILDREN’S MYSTERIES

Who-What-Where-When-How
PICTURE BOOKS
Butler, John WHOSE NOSE AND TOES?

Unp. Viking 2004 $10.99 ISBN-10: 0-670-05904-8; ISBN-13: 978-0-670-05904-1

A guessing game for the very young. Each page asks "Whose nose and toes?" Then answers on the following page. Preschoolers will delight in knowing the answer, and the baby animals are cuddly (even the crocodile).
Lewis, Kim HOORAY FOR HARRY

Unp. Candlewick Press 2006 $15.99 ISBN-10: 0-7636-2962-6; ISBN-13: 9780-7636-2962-5

Harry's friends help him look for his missing blanket. They solve the mystery in a logical revisiting of where it was last seen. A good real-aloud for younger SRP participants.
Park, Linda Sue WHAT DOES BUNNY SEE?

Illus. by Maggie Smith unp. Clarion Books 2005 $15.00 ISBN-10: 0-618-23485-3; ISBN-13: 978-0-618-23485-1

Young children will enjoy this rhyming story of bunny and guessing what is coming next. A gentle tale that emphasizes sights in the garden.
Root, Phyllis LOOKING FOR A MOOSE

Illus. by Randy Cecil unp. Candlewick $15.99 ISBN-10: 0-7636-2005-X; ISBN-13: 978-0-7636-2005-94

Four children & one dog go out to find a moose. They look in the woods, the swamp, the bushes, and the hillside. Then claim, "It's just no use. We'll never, ever, ever, ever, ever see a moose!" Finally they see one! Four! Then a bunch! Children will need to look closely for the moose in one illustration of each of the previous scenes (watch where the dog is looking). The repetitive phrase, "We look and we look, but it's just no use. We don't see any long-leggy moose." Great fun.

Shannon, George WHITE IS FOR BLUEBERRY

Illus. by Laura Dronzek unp. Greenwillow 2005 $15.99 ISBN-10: 0-06-029275-X; ISBN-13: 978-0-06-029275-8

Children will enjoy this fun look at colors, the author explains blueberries are white before they are ripe, and a crow is pink when it has just hatched from its egg. Story time children will enjoy shouting out the answers, once the book has been read to them.

Munro, Roxie AMAZEMENT PARK

Chronicle Books 2005 $16.95 ISBN-10: 0-8118-4581-8; ISBN-13: 978-0-8118-4581-6

Twelve mazes are included and the reader is challenged not only to solve the mazes but also to find the same 3 things on each 2-page spread (some are easier than others). Answers are provided in the back of the book.
Fancher, Lou STAR CLIMBING

Illus. by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher unp. HarperCollins 2006 $16.89 ISBN-10: 0-06-073902-9; ISBN-13: 978-0-06-073902-7

A quick look at a few of the constellations, as a little girl who can't sleep crawls out her window and joins them. A single line of text on each 2-page spread. Seeing the constellations can be seen as intrepreting code. Final 2-page spread shows the 6 constellations she played with.
Mahy, Margaret DOWN THE BACK OF THE CHAIR

Illus. by Polly Dunbar 29p. Clarion Books 2006 $16.00 ISBN-10: 0-618-69365-5; ISBN-13: 978-0-618-69365-5

Dad and his 3 children must look for the car keys, Mary (2) suggests looking down the back of the chair. Full of rollicking rhythm. The things they find! - some are fantastical, some ordinary. When reading aloud you can ask children to point to the items in the illustration (some are large, some are not, one may need clarification - "drake").

Sobol, June SHIVER ME LETTERS: A Pirate ABC

Illus. by Henry Cole unp. Harcourt 2006 $16.00 ISBN-10: 0-15-216732-3; ISBN-13: 978-0-15-216732-5

"R-r-r," says the captain. He tells the pirates to find the all ABCs. Children will enjoy finding the letters in the illustrations, not always easy!

McCarthy, Meghan STEAL BACK THE MONA LISA

Harcourt 2006 $16.00 ISBN-10: 0-15-205368-9; ISBN-13: 978-0-15-205368-0

Secret Agent Jack ( a boy) is called to get the Mona Lisa back after crooks have stolen it. He uses several gadgets to try to save the day, but he is kidnapped and held prisoner until he can escape. This very silly story will entertain children who will enjoy the idea of a boy being the hero.

Lehman, Barbara MUSEUM TRIP

unp. Houghton Mifflin 2006 $15.00 ISBN-10: 0-618-58125-1; ISBN-13: 978-0-618-58125-2

Author of The Red Book brings us another wordless picture book of imagination (or is it). A school trip to a museum tells of a boy who finds a secret door to a room of mazes on paper (with a minotaur statue). The boy goes into and solves each paper maze before rejoining his class. Challenging the reader to do the same. A favorite of mine!
Willard, Nancy SWEEP DREAMS

Illus. by Mary GrandPre

Little, Brown and Company 2005 $16.99 ISBN-10 0-316-94008-9

A man who loves a magical, dancing broom learns how to make her happy, finds her after she is stolen, and finally sets her free and hopes that someday she will return home.


Teevin, Toni WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO DO?

Illus. by Janet Pedersen 32p. Clarion Books 2006 $16.00 ISBN-10: 0-618-44632-X; ISBN-13: 978-0-618-44632-2

Feeling lonely every day, Sophie notices the birds and bakes bread for visiting birds. She soon has a problem since they increase in numbers and squawk for more bread every day.
Pinkwater, Daniel BAD BEAR DETECTIVES

Illus. By Jill Pinkwater unp. Houghton Mifflin 2006 $16.00 ISBN-10: 0-618-43125-X; ISBN-13:978-0-618-43125-0

Fans of Irving and Mukluk will enjoy another tale of their exploits. They are accused of stealing a large load of muffins from the dock. To clear their names, they decide they will have to become detectives.

Edwards, Wallace THE EXTINCT FILES: MY SCIENCE PROJECT

Unp. Kids Can Press 2006 $17.95 ISBN-10: 1-55337-971-3; ISBN-13: 978-1-55337-971-3

Wally is preparing to work on his science project (on his pet iguana, Spike) when a dinosaur walks past his bedroom window. Change of focus for project! Wally documents with camera and field notes the many things dinosaurs doing in our world -- from rollerblading to dining out. (Although it seems they do little to disguise themselves) Dino fans will enjoy this look at imagined dinosaur behavior in the 21st century.

Teague, Mark DETECTIVE LaRUE: Letters from the Investigation

Unp. Scholastic 2004 $15.95 ISBN-10: 0-439-45868-4

Falsely accused in the disappearance of two cats, Ike LaRue (the dog) must take matters into his own hands to clear his name. He is a dog after all, and when the victims are cats, how can a dog expect justice? Raymond Chandler for 2nd and 3rd grade, told with rich language and humor. The story unfolds through newspaper reports and the letters Ike sends his master. A less ingenious canine would resort to barking, but Ike LaRue knows how to foil this feline caper with style and smarts.
EASY READERS
Gregorich, Barbara WALTUR BUYS A PIG IN A POKE, AND OTHER STORIES

Illus. by Kritin Sorra unp. Houghton Mifflin 2006 $15.00 ISBN-10: 0-618-47306-8; ISBN-13: 978-0-618-47306-9

Three stories of Waltur, Matilda and Darwin, each based on an idiom. Waltur also counts chickens before they hatch, and leads a horse to water to make him drink. Good fun and exploration of idioms. A two-page explanation is at the back of the book. (idioms – what they mean and how they are used – could be considered a mystery, a type of code)
Hood, Susan PUP AND HOUND LOST AND FOUND (Kids Can Read)

Illus. by Linda Hendry 30p. Kids Can Press 2006 $14.95 ISBN-10: 1-55337-806-7; ISBN-13: 978-1-55337-806-8

Pup and Hound ride to the county fair. Hound is enjoying all the tastes and smells, and misses pup wandering off to follow a little female pup. Hound looks all over the fair but can't find him (readers will see pup in several illustrations always just out of Hound's sight).

Cazet, Denys MINNIE AND MOO: The Case of the Missing Jelly Donut (I Can Read)

48p. HarperCollins 2005 $16.89 ISBN-10: 0-06-073008-0; ISBN-13: 978-0-06-073008-6

Minnie & Moo go undercover to solve the missing donut mystery. Minnie suspects the chickens, so they don feathery outfits, rubber gloves on their heads and funnels for beaks. “Who’s going to notice 2 more chickens?” Then a fox sneaks into the chicken coop.

Cazet, Denys MINNIE AND MOO: Wanted Dead or Alive (I Can Read)

48p. HarperCollins 2006 $15.99 ISBN-10: 0-06-073010-2; ISBN-13: 978-0-06-073010-9

The 2 cows hear the farmer and his wife discussing money problems, and decide to go to the bank to save the farm. They are mistaken for the Bazooka Sisters – famous bank robbers! Will they escape, will they save the farm?
Cushman, Doug DIRK BONES AND THE MYSTERY OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE

(I Can Read – Level 1) 30p. HarperCollins 2006 $15.99 ISBN-10: 0-06-073764-6; ISBN-13: 0-06-073764-1

I Can Read – Level 1 – Dirk Bones (a skeleton) is asked by 2 ghosts to investigate a strange noise they keep hearing. It’s scaring them! A fun book for Halloween that isn’t too scary.
INTERMEDIATE CHAPTER
Keene, Carolyn PONY PROBLEMS (Nancy Drew & the Clue Crew, #3)

81p. Aladdin 2006 $3.99 (pbk) ISBN-10: 1-4169-1815-9; ISBN-13: 978-1-4169-1815-8

(Nancy Drew & the Clue Crew #3) Nancy and her friends are 8 years old in this new series for younger readers. The new petting zoo has a pony, Buttons, for kids to ride. The mystery is how is Buttons getting out of the corral every night. He shows up on people's lawns nibbling their bushes or flowers, and people are getting upset. He can't jump the fence, it's too high for a Shetland pony. Can Nancy, Bess and George solve the mystery?

Cirrone, Dorian THE BIG SCOOP (Lindy Blues series)

Illus. by Liza Woodruff 74p. Marshall Cavendish 2006 $14.99 ISBN-10: 0-7614-5323-7; ISBN-13:978-0-7614-5323-9

Lindy's "big scoop" has to do with a disappearing ice cream shop. Two separate mysteries make up her latest news show in this early chapter book.

Klise, Kate REGARDING THE BATHROOMS: A Privy to the Past

Illus. by M. Sarah Klise 144p. Harcourt 2006 $15.00 ISBN-10: 0-15-205164-3; ISBN-13: 978-0-15-205164-8

The 4th book in the "Regarding the…" series, which started with the students in 5th grade, progressed to 6th, and now this book occurs during the summer after 6th grade. Told through letters, memos, newspaper articles, and other print items, this popular series has another winner. Sally Mander and Dee Eel have escaped from jail. Ancient Roman artifacts are disappearing in England. The school bathrooms need refurbishing, will Florence do it? Each title in the series can be read on its own. (A 5th book is promised: Regarding the Bees!)
Adler, David A. CAM JANSEN AND THE VALENTINE BABY MYSTERY

74p. Viking 2005 $13.99 ISBN-10: 0-670-06009-7; ISBN-13: 978-0-670-06009-2

Cam's remarkable memory helps catch the car thief in the hospital parking lot. 25 years of Cam Jansen, with this book.
Bruchac, Joseph THE RETURN OF SKELETON MAN

136p. HarperCollins 2006 $15.99 ISBN-10: 0-06-058090-9; ISBN-13: 978-0-06-058090-2

A year after their ordeal with Skeleton Man, Molly (7th grade) and her parents go to a convention for her father at Mohonk House - located on a mountain nature preserve. The grounds are beautiful, but Molly is having nightmares again. Is there a reason to be afraid? Touches on the aftermath of surviving such an ordeal, and Molly once again shows strength and intelligence in a life-threatening situation.

Adler, David A. BONES AND THE DINOSAUR MYSTERY (Viking Easy-To-Read)

Illus. by Barbara Johansen Newman 32p. Viking 2005 $13.99 ISBN-10: 0-670-06010-0; ISBN-13: 978-0-670-06010-8

(Bones #4) Bones, his grandfather, and his grandfather’s friend, Sally, visit the museum together.While looking at the moon rocks after a snack Bones realizes the plastic T-Rex (in a green bag) hisgrandfather bought him is no longer with him. He employees his detecting skills to try to find it. Asimple mystery children will appreciate.

Clements, Andrew ROOM ONE: A Mystery or Two (Nebraska setting!)

162p. Simon & Schuster 2006 $15.95 ISBN-10: 0-689-86686-0; ISBN-13: 978-0-689-86686-9

(Set in the fictional town of Plattsford, Nebraska.) Ted, the only sixth grader in his ten student school, knows the school will have to close if more families with children do not move to town. He loves mysteries and one day sees a girl’s face in the window of an abandoned farmhouse. He has to investigate and meets April, his age, and her brother and mother. He then has a new dilemma, how to help them without revealing their presence in town.
Preller, James THE CASE OF THE SNOWBOARDING SUPERSTAR (Jigsaw Jones Mystery #29) 71p. Scholastic 2006 $3.99 (pbk) ISBN-10: 0-439-79395-5; ISBN-13: 978-0-439-79395-7

Jigsaw Jones & family are going on a ski vacation during winter break. Lance Mashman, the best young snowboarder in the world is staying at their hotel. His lucky bandana is missing! Can Jigsaw solve the mystery without his partner, Mila?


Joose, Barbara M. DEAD GUYS TALK (Wild Willie Mystery)

Illus. by Abby Carter 100p. Clarion 2006 $15.00 ISBN-10: 0-618-30666-8; ISBN-13: 978-0-618-30666-4

Scarface Detectives -- Willie, Kyle & Lucy -- receive a note asking for help and directing them to the nearby cemetery. Someone is planning to sell the graveyard and move the deceased. Is the plea for help from one of the deceased? A convincing mystery with a hint of the scary. (reminds me of Johnny & the Dead by Terry Pratchett.)

Burns, Laura J. and Melinda Metz THE CASE OF THE NANA-NAPPER

(Wright & Wong Mystery)

167p. Sleuth Razorbill (Penguin) 2005 $5.99 (pbk) ISBN-10: 1-59514-015-8; ISBN-13: 978-1-59514-015-9

Wright & Wong investigate the disappearance and probable kidnapping of Agatha's Nana Wong.

Horowitz, Anthony SOUTH BY SOUTHEAST (Diamond Bothers Mystery, Bk 3)

148p. Philomel Books 1991, 2005 $16.99 ISBN-10: 0-399-24155-8; ISBN-13: 978-0-399-24155-0 Nick and Tim have to stop the assassination of a Russian diplomat, if they can only decifer the last words of a dying man and evade the clutches of Charon, the assassin.

Mack, Tracy & Michael Citrin THE FALL OF THE AMAZING ZALINDAS (Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars, Casebook No. 1) 234p. Scholastic 2006 $16.99 ISBN-10: 0-439-82836-8; ISBN-13: 978-0-439-82836-9

Casebook #1 in the new series - Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars -- The premise is the Irregulars really helped Sherlock more than Dr. Watson mentions in his writings. In this title, three of the Zalindas, tightrope walkers, fall to their deaths when the rope breaks. The Irregulars are asked to talk with some of the carnivals other employees to pick up any information they can. Pilar, the daughter of the crystal ball gazer, helps them with their task. Additional info at back: Cast of characters, Slang glossary, Cockney Rhyming Slang (an "explanation & instuctions for creating your own"), Sherlock's method of deduction; The art of disguise, and types of horse-drawn vehicles of the Victorian time.



CHILDREN’S NON-FICTION

Hall, Katy and Lisa Eisenberg STINKY RIDDLES (Dial Easy-To-Read)

Illus. by Renée Andriani 40p. Dial 2005 $14.99 ISBN-10: 0-8037-2928-6; ISBN-13: 978-0-8037-2928-5

Riddle books are great for this theme! One riddle per page with the illustration dominating. The book has some real stinkers – “What would you get if you crossed a skunk and a sheep? A furry animal that smells really baaaaad.”

Handford, Martin WHERE’S WALDO? THE GREAT PICTURE HUNT

unp. Candlewick Press 2006 $14.99 ISBN-10: 0-7636-3043-8; ISBN-13: 978-0-7636-3043-0

He’s back! Find Waldo, his friends, and a variety of items listed in the back of the book. Includes removable sticky picture frames to highlight Waldo’s (or other’s) locations. Typical Waldo fun!

Brown, Charlotte Lewis THE DAY THE DINOSAURS DIED

Illus. by Phil Wilson 48p. HarperCollins 2006 $15.99 ISBN-10: 0-06-000528-9; ISBN-13: 978-0-06-000528-3

I Can Read, Level 2: tells of what may have occurred the day a large asteroid or meteor hit earth. The author's note makes it clear that while this event occurred, scientists do not know why ALL dinosaurs died. Should be popular with beginning readers.
Shulman, Mark MOM AND DAD ARE PALINDROMES

Illus. by Adam McCauley unp. Chronicle Books 2006 $15.95 ISBN-10: 0-8118-4328-9; ISBN-13:978-0-8118-4328-7

Bob’s teacher discusses palindromes in class and Bob is sent almost over the top as he encounters them everywhere. His panic subsides after he develops a plan. (His plan has a major flaw children will love to uncover.) “More than 101 palindromes hidden inside” claims the cover - & they’re probably right.
Sidman, Joyce MEOW RUFF (A Story in Concrete Poetry)

Illus. by Michelle Berg unp. Houghton Mifflin 2006 $16.00 ISBN-10: 0-618-44894-2; ISBN-13:

978-0-618-44894-4

Clever design and poetry conveys a story of a cat and dog that do not get along, endure a rainstorm, and join forces to chase off some irritating crows. Deciphering the poems will intrigue and entertain children.

Berkowitz, Jacob JURASSIC POOP: What Dinosaurs (and Others) Left Behind

Illus. by Steve Mack 40p. Kids Can Press 2006 $14.95 ISBN-10: 1-55337-860-1; ISBN-13: 978-1-55337-860-0

A sure-fire topic for young readers! Several one-page topics refer to mysteries: "The Salmon Creek Mystery" on p. 9; "Poop Imposters" on p. 10; "Doo-Doo Detective" on p. 11. Be sure to check out the recipe on p. 20 -"Coprolite Crafts."

Kudlinski, Kathleen V. BOY, WERE WE WRONG ABOUT DINOSAURS!

Illus. by S. D. Schindler

unp. Dutton 2005 $15.99 ISBN-10: 0-525-46978-8; ISBN-13: 978-0-525-46978-0

A brief look at some of the many things believed about dinosaurs that now are believed to not be true. The author notes the Chinese were the first (as far as we know) to discover dinosaur bones, they decided they were dragon bones. We used to believe dinosaurs did not care for their young, now we believe at least some did. A good look at the fact that science progresses and beliefs change.


Fradin, Dennis B. WITH A LITTLE LUCK: Surprising Stories of Amazing Discoveries

177p. Dutton 2006 $17.99 ISBN-10: 0-525-47196-0; ISBN-13: 978-0-525-47196-7

Eleven (mostly) scientific discoveries are highlighted in this readable collection of biographies. Fradin emphasizes that while luck helped, each of the discoverers were attuned to their tasks and were prepared to make the connection that resulted in the discovery. This readable, attractive book includes discoveries such as gravity, penicillin, the Dead Sea scrolls, cave paintings, and pulsars.
SCIENCE DETECTIVES by the editors of YES Mag

Illus. by Rose Cowles 48p. Kids Can Press 2006 $15.95 ISBN-10: 1-55337-994-2; ISBN-13: 978-1-55337-994-2

From the cover: "How scientists solved six real-life mysteries." A variety of mysteries, such as: how did the Iceman - Ötzi - die?... the discovery of DNA; why did the vulture population in India drop by 95% in 1998, and why was it important? Plus several more mysteries in sidebars. Also includes activities the reader may try, with proper warnings.

Fleischman, Sid ESCAPE! The Story Of The Great Houdini

210p. Greenwillow 2006 $18.99 ISBN-10: 0-06-085094-9; ISBN-13: 978-0-06-085094-4

An extremely readable biography of the famous magician, by a Newbery medalist and former magician himself. Fleischman presents both sides of Houdini, the talented magician and showman; and the ego that drove him. The author corrects a few "legends" about Houdini, noting the showman (or others) was always willing to "enhance" a story as needed. Fleischman tells no secrets of Houdini's magic, respecting the magician and the magician’s code. He does list some books in the bibliography that WILL reveal his secrets.

Rehak, Melanie GIRL SLEUTH: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her

364p. Harcourt 2005 $25.00 ISBN-10: 0-15-101041-2; ISBN-13: 978-0-15-101041-7; $14.00 (pbk) ISBN-10: 0-15-603056-X; ISBN-10: 0-15-603056-4

Includes some history of Edward Stratemeyer and the development his syndicate. It focuses on his daughter Harriet and the original author of the Nancy Drew mysteries, Mildred Wirt Benson. The two women did not always agree, but both cared greatly for the character and the series. The author uses articles and correspondence to tell the story of Nancy Drew. Fans of the series will enjoy learning more about “Carolyn Keene.”
KIDZ COMIX – Graphic Novels
Petrucha, Stefan MR. CHEETERS IS MISSING (Nancy Drew Girl Detective Graphic Novel)

96 p. Papercutz 2006 $7.95 ISBN-10: 1597070300

When the eccentric Blanche Porter reports that her beloved Mr. Cheeters has vanished, it isnt your standard missing persons case. As Nancy Drew soon discovers, Mr. Cheeters, is a pet chimp. Or is he? Based on a preliminary investigation and information obtained from Blanches brother, Lawrence, the River Heights police dismiss the case as bogus, doubting that there ever was a Mr. Cheeters to begin with. But when Nancy Drew discovers there is a missing diamond necklace as well she is on the case! Can Nancy, along with Bess and George, recover the great ape and the necklace, or has Blanche Porter made a monkey out of Nancy Drew?

Lobdell, Scott & Rendon, Daniel HIDE AND SHREIK (Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers)

96 p. Papercutz 2006 ISBN 1597070289 $7.95

When a visiting dignitary's daughter is scheduled to attend a party at a horror-themed restaurant in New York City, ATAC agents Joe and Frank Hardy are enlisted as undercover protection.

Robin Clark

Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

rbrooks@mail.tscpl.org

Tri-conference 2007 Topeka, Kansas

(Revised April 2007 with permission/Sally Snyder)






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