Detective Gordon: A Case in Any Case by Ulf Nilsson, illustrated by Gitte Spee

51wlxn-f9l  Detective Gordon: A Case in Any Case by Ulf Nilsson, illustrated by Gitte Spee. Translated by Julia Marshall. Gecko Press, 2017. 9781776571086

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:   Mystery

What did you like about the book? Buffy, a shy mouse, is acting Chief of Police, while her mentor, Gordon, is the semi-retired toad who previously held that office. Several mysteries present themselves in this gentle short chapter book. I like that these two friends are girl and man, young and old, and different animals, although they share the love of cake and solving mysteries. Gentle humor will make kids smile: when Buffy first hears noises at night, she thinks she should call the police. Then she remembers: she was the police! The two also share a secret language when they need to talk without being understood, the A language: (“A little awkward but it worked pretty well.) For instance: “A hapa thay havant baan aatan ap.” Awkward, in that they usually can’t even understand each other when speaking it! The drawings are done with misty greens and other colors evoking the fields and forests of the animals’ home, and with their affectionate portrayal of the animals, really make this story a winner.

Anything you didn’t like about it? There were a few instances of awkward translation, but I don’t think it would bother a child.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is for readers newly confident with longer chapter books such as Owl Diaries, Princess in Black or Claude. Anyone who liked Frog and Toad as a younger reader will enjoy this.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: February 22, 2017

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