Friday, October 13, 2017

Wallace and Grace and the cupcake caper by Heather Alexander, illustrated by Laura Zarrin

I've looked at a number of Bloomsbury's new chapter book imprint, Read and Bloom, but this one is the first I can unreservedly recommend and that really caught my interest (and the fact that I kept it overdue, had to return it, and request it again is irrelevant. I've been busy.)

I accidentally picked up the second title, but it was easy to jump into the series. Wallace and Grace run a detective agency together. But right now they're placing I Spy. They're enjoying a last game before the sun rises and they have to go to bed when Monty the chipmunk calls for help - someone has stolen his cupcake! The Night Owl Detective Agency is on the case! Together they search for clues, look at the evidence, and find witnesses. But can they find the culprit - the real culprit? Even more important, can they find a solution so everyone, from Monty to the thief, can have a happy ending?

Zarrin's colorful illustrations add a sweet pop of color to every page, from spot art to full page illustrations. Grace has an extra sparkle in her purple feathers and Wallace is a little bigger, with solid brown and orange patterns. But they both work equally to solve the mystery, Grace finding the final clue by remembering her earlier game with Wallace.

Verdict: This is a just-right beginning chapter book for fans of Branches and early mysteries. I especially liked the vibrant art. I look forward to using these in my book clubs and strongly recommend this new series.

ISBN: 9781681190105; Published 2017 by Bloomsbury; Borrowed from another library in my consortium
Nominate me for Cybils!

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