For young animal lovers, and children who enjoy a mystery, this book presents both. The humour, often subtle, and often conveyed by the drawings, is present on every page. It presents a great addition to the text, and enhances the story. The chapter numbers are written inside the shape of a bone.
The story is an animal detective tale, as Pugly is a Private Detective, and has the hat to prove it. It is also a romance, complete with a wedding. A new character has moved into the house next door. It is a poodle. “Everyone knows that poodles can’t be trusted. They’re too” bouncy and pood-ly,” says Pugly, and she is probably an evil genius.
However, the problem at hand is far more important. Someone has been stealing things. At first they are thought to have been mislaid, but gradually more things go missing. Clem the cat, who is Pugly’s cohort decides it is time to act, and between them they hatch a plan. The first thing they do is draw up a list of suspects to interview and much to Pugly’s dismay, Clem tries to bribe a local dog by offering him all of Pugly’s dog biscuits. The next to be interviewed is Tiny, the Chihuahua. Tiny is asked to draw a footprint that she noticed outside. Here we have our first clue.
The interviews continue around the neighborhood, more urgent now, as Big Sal, the orange guinea pig had disappeared. Pugly still suspects the poodle next door, and decides to watch and follow her that night. Late at night, he and Clem see the poodle trying to sneak out of the house, so they silently follow her. She leads them to a Church, where wedding preparations are underway. The plot thickens,as it seems Big Sal is to be the groom, but is still missing. There are many twists and turns in the plot now, although clues are shown for the reader.
The storyline creates a book of some substance as a degree of concentration is needed to notice the clues. There is plenty of time for the reader to read, digest, and hypothesize. While they are doing this, the humour embedded in the lines and art will maintain interest. The text is not for beginning readers, but for those more experienced. However the drawings aid greatly in the understanding.
This would be a fun story to read aloud and share.
|Author||Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Gemma Correll|