Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3
Genre: Humor (Graphic Novel)
What did you like about the book? It’s a peaceful morning on the farm when suddenly there comes a shriek from the barn followed by an anxious and flustered Hen. Her egg is missing! Who could have done such a thing? To crack the case, the animals call on the world’s most famous (and only) goat detective: Inspector Billiam Van Hoof. As the farm friends desperately uncover clues, readers will easily guess what has really happened and will giggle as the characters miss the answer that’s right under their noses. When a fluffy baby chick wanders onto the scene, the case is finally “cracked” and closed.
Dumais’s first of at least two books in the Farm Crime series is short and easy to understand for emerging and newly independent readers. Both visual and verbal gags abound to help keep readers engaged. The art is simple in design and color, making it easy for kids to remember the scenes and even redraw their favorite characters (something that Dav Pilkey has often cited as one of the big success points of Dog Man).
As mentioned above, readers will easily solve the case before the farm animals and will get a kick out of being in-the-know before everyone else. This type of humor continues in many aspects as the goat looks for his glasses (which are on his head) or tries to find his way to the barn (ignoring the sign posts and going in the completely wrong direction). The dialog and narration are done in a font that has a hand-drawn element to it but will still be accessible to most readers.
Anything you didn’t like about it? With such a small page count, it’s important to make every addition to the story worthwhile and there were simply some areas that didn’t fit well. Raccoon, for example, didn’t have much to contribute to the story either within the case or for the level of humor.
To whom would you recommend this book? The reading level matches well with the humor, creating a fun story for those reading at a grade 1 to grade 3 level. Recommend this to kids who have enjoyed the Acorn readers from Scholastic or those not yet ready to completely tackle Dog Man on their own.
Who should buy this book? An additional purchase to fill out your graphic novel collection.
Where would you shelve it ? J Graphic Novels
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? You can pass on this one.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Melissa McCleary, Pembroke Public Library, Pembroke, MA
Date of review: December 18, 2020