Whobert Whover, Owl Detective – by Jason Gallagher, illustrated by Jess Pauwels

     Whobert Whover, Owl Detective – by Jason Gallagher, illustrated by Jess Pauwels, Margaret K. McElderry Books, (9781481462716), 2017.

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

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

Genre: Mystery

What did you like about the book? When Whobert the owl finds what appears to be a dead possum, he immediately sets out to solve the case. Readers are in on a secret – the opossum isn’t really dead. In fact, he opens his eyes whenever Whobert isn’t looking. Meanwhile, Whobert follows the usual path of detectives; he looks for clues, accuses suspects, follows a getaway trail, and even finds a literal red herring (a red fish that appears to have information but is ultimately unhelpful). As the animals he encounters try to tell him that he’s the one responsible, he interrupts, each time using the repetitive phrase, “Who, who done it?” The possum finally jumps up and tells Whobert that, “You did it!” It was Whobert’s terrifying talons that caused the possum’s reaction. However, Whobert doesn’t believe him. He holds up his talons to show they are just for grasping branches. The reappearance of the scary talons sends the possum back into his faint, starting the delightfully oblivious Whobert once again looking for a culprit.  Pure fun.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  It will require a bit of pre-work with a young audience so that they understand how possums play dead.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommended especially for librarians and elementary teachers of kindergarten or first grade to use to introduce the mystery genre.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve with other Picture Books.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review:  8/6/17

This entry was posted in *Starred Review, Book Review, Mystery and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Whobert Whover, Owl Detective – by Jason Gallagher, illustrated by Jess Pauwels

  1. Mary! Thank you so much for this review! I’m glad you thought Whobert was a hoot!


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