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Children's LiteratureNate the Great sets out to solve yet another mystery. The charm of these early chapter books is that while the vocabulary is controlled and appropriate for the target audience, the story line is humorous and satisfying for young readers. While Nate and his dog Sludge are out shoveling snow, Fang and his owner, Annie, come along to ask for Nate's help in locating a missing Christmas card. Naturally Nate is quite willing to stop shoveling and start sleuthing. He dutifully leaves a note for his mother explaining why he has stopped his task and then he sets off to locate the long anticipated card. Every year Fang's mother sends him a special Christmas card. Nate discovers that many pieces of mail have become lodged in the catalogs that Annie has been collecting, but the missing card is not in any of them. It is only when Nate begins to "think like a dog" that he discovers that Fang had actually intercepted the card during its delivery (the mail carrier dropped it and ran at the sight of Fang running to greet him) and had buried it in the back yard. All ends well but Nate still has to finish shoveling the snow. As a bit of an aside, it is revealed that Nate and his family celebrate Hanukkah, giving children a glimpse of his traditions with the mention of potato pancakes. 1996, Yearling/Bantam Doubleday Dell, Ages 4 to 8.