How To Be a Detective

Overview

Think you have what it takes to be a crime scene investigator or a junior Sherlock Holmes? Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Fingerprinting suspects. Dusting for prints they left behind. Combing over the scene of a crime to spot near-invisible clues. Guaranteed to keep sleuths busy and on the case, these lively instructions and hands-on activities cover everything from securing a crime scene and gathering evidence to following footprints, tracking suspects, and ...

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Overview

Think you have what it takes to be a crime scene investigator or a junior Sherlock Holmes? Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Fingerprinting suspects. Dusting for prints they left behind. Combing over the scene of a crime to spot near-invisible clues. Guaranteed to keep sleuths busy and on the case, these lively instructions and hands-on activities cover everything from securing a crime scene and gathering evidence to following footprints, tracking suspects, and interviewing witnesses (and knowing when they are lying!). Among this guide’s special features are:
- An ink pad for taking fingerprints
- A make-your-own periscope kit
- A foldout poster featuring a case to be solved!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heather Christensen
Know a future Sherlock Holmes or budding Nancy Drew? Waddell and Smith's book is full of information, tools, and at least a few tricks for amateur detectives. Using Holmes as its inspiration, the book emphasizes the power of observation, with both time honored techniques like fingerprinting and handwriting analysis, and the most modern forensic science. Each page includes background information, activities, and a selection from the "Casebook of Sherlock Holmes", to inspire young sleuths. With a multitude of flaps, mini-books, and do-it-yourself kits (both a periscope and fingerprinting), this book is as fun as it is informative. Readers will learn about analyzing a crime scene, creating and recognizing disguises, and reading body language. Kids can even test their skills on "The Case of the Missing Moaning Jenny," a folded poster full of clues about a missing piece of artwork. Smith's bright colored cartoon illustrations match the informal, lighthearted text, and encourage browsing. A pointy-nosed detective and his canine companion (both outfitted in a green plaid cap with earflaps) lead readers through a number of crime scenes and cartoony crooks, while demonstrating specific skills. Although the extra parts make this a difficult item for libraries, this is a perfect book for mystery fans who want to try some of the techniques they read about in their favorite whodunits. Reviewer: Heather Christensen
Kirkus Reviews
A superficial look at the basics of criminal forensics and investigation, addressed to young Sherlocks but more likely to draw soul mates of the great detective's resolutely sedate brother Mycroft. The manual thoughtfully supplies amateur sleuths with a perfunctory "kit" consisting of a tiny ink pad and a nearly useless periscope with brushed foil reflectors. It then proceeds to lay out procedures for gathering hair, fingerprints and like evidence from a living room or other "crime scene." Succeeding spreads cover surveillance techniques, interviewing "witnesses" and "suspects," profiling (readers are encouraged to keep a card file on friends and family--an enterprise that cannot end well), handwriting analysis and using codes while working with partners. Other tangential or seemingly random elements include a made-up crime on a folded poster at the front that receives no further mention, a spread on spycraft and a set of loose cards with mix-and-match facial features. Much of the content on nearly every page is pointlessly printed on or covered by glued flaps, and the cartoon illustrations are strewn with an eye-glazing array of ordinary household items and generic figures in static poses. Waddell properly trumpets the importance of sharp observational skills, but he doesn't provide budding detectives with much impetus to develop them. (Pop-up/nonfiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763661427
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Pages: 24
  • Sales rank: 490,607
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Waddell is the author of Who Do You Think You Are? Be a Family Tree Detective. He has also written two crime novels for adults, Blood Atonement and The Blood Detective. He lives in London.

Jim Smith is an illustrator whose artwork can be seen on greeting cards, juice bottles, and coffee cups. This is his first book with Candlewick Press. He lives in London.

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