Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nana Cracks the Case by Kathleen Lane, concept by Cabell Harris, illustrated by Sarah Horne

Nana, not content to decay into old-lady-hood as her daughter Elaine would like, has found another job - this time as a detective. With the help of her grandchildren, Eufala and Bog, she sets out to solve the case of the candy stealer.

This rollicking and rather wandering story includes lots of candy, naughty children, stupid adults, unhappy policemen, and a tough old Nana who's intent on experiencing everything she can. But she's also elderly; she forgets things, gets lost, makes mistakes, and often acts in an extremely childlike way, which means she fits right in with....

Her grandchildren Eufala and Bog. They have some genuinely funny moments, such as when forbidden by their worrywart mother to open the front door "Never in a million years would they have so much as touched the doorknob of the front door. Anyhow, why open the front door when the kitchen window worked just as well--and, they had found, was much less likely to draw the attention of neighbors." Their mischievous naughtiness quickly degenerates into a series of unpleasant and greedy misbehaviors.

The illustrations are full of maps, odd items, and caricatured characters. The best and most humorous part of the illustrations are the end-papers, designed to look like want ads. Once you've read the book, you'll realize that some of them are jobs Nana has had which haven't worked out exactly as she planned!

Verdict: This book isn't really a mystery. It's a nonsense of irresponsibility. Nana, Eufala and Bog, the policeman, even the children's mother, all act in the most outrageous and insane ways, clearly showing the reader they're not meant to be taken seriously. If you like the weird and wacky with plenty of humor, you may enjoy this quick and kooky read. Hand this out to fans of Horrid Henry and incipient Series of Unfortunate Events readers.

ISBN: 978-0811862585; Published April 2009 by Chronicle; Borrowed from the library

No comments: