Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose are very excited about their older friend Jud coming to visit. Even better is the surprise he brings with him—a full-size mechancial T-Rex. Jud and his friends have been exhibiting the T-Rex as advertisement for their Dinosaur museum, and the fee they charge for their show is going to fund the museum's future opening. But when the money collected goes missing, the thief must be found with the help of the trio and the police. The story is cleverly pieced together, but the reader has to be on the lookout for clues to solve the mystery. Overall an excellent book, but geared toward younger readers of the 6 to 10 age group. One in the "A to Z Mysteries" series. 2003, Random House Inc, Ages 6 to 10.
Children's Literature - Carol Collins
G is for gold in the seventh book of the alphabet series. This easy-to-read, fast-paced mystery follows Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose to Key West over their winter school break. There, they save Ruth Rose's grandmother and her senior center friends from being pirated out of their savings by two con artists. Dink spearheads the effort to get to the bottom of the scam in which Spike and Chip promise to share the next sunken treasure they find with the elderly investors. The kids' unchaperoned investigation leads them to a museum, to book research, and finally to exploration of the crooks' Golden Goose boat. It is there that they have to hide out in a dark, smelly hold and then escape from the ship before it sinks. The children's ingenuity and the grandmother's non-stereotypical lifestyle (she's into sports) give the story pizzazz, while the basic plot is rooted in a genuine fear for senior citizens. The straightforward black and white illustrations are on target, and the color cover glows with three wide-eyed youngsters looking into a treasure chest. The book's plot and price should appeal to the early reader.
Children's Literature - Susan Hepler
Like the adult author Sue Grafton, Roy fashions a mystery story for each letter of the alphabet. In this case, the three sleuths (two boys and a girl) uncover a plot to force an elderly couple to sell their valuable hotel because it is haunted and no guests will remain where there are ghosts. The plot unfolds pleasantly and with no scary parts, the ghosts turn out to be actors who think they are trying out for a movie, and the bad guys are three greedy realtors. Frequent illustrations, plenty of white space on the page, a continuing cast of characters, and small humorous touches make this entry in the series readable if not especially memorable. "A to Z Mysteries" series.
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Part of the publisher's "A to Z Mysteries" series, this little story is designed for the early chapter book reader. Other titles in the series include The Absent Author and The Canary Caper. The intrepid hero here is Donald David Duncan, known to those who count as Dink. The problem he faces is tracking down a red-haired witness to a bank robbery. An engaging cast of characters variously assist and hinder him in this enterprise. With humor and zest, the story moves along, until a clever twist makes the team draw on every last resource at their disposal. Ruth Rose, Dink's neighbor and comrade-in-disguise, is a joy to the ear!
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
The illustrations in this volume are colorful and eye-catching, but the book is slightly less successful simply due to the subject matter. The jungle is fascinating due to its complexity, and this cannot be conveyed by presenting each plant or animal singly. Despite this caveat, the text amply covers the survival mechanisms employed in the jungle, as well as the differences between the world's many tropical rainforest regions. Indigenous people and their use of jungle resources are discussed, as well as the effects of the encroachment of civilization.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4Third graders Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are getting ready for Halloween when they are approached by a man claiming to be a private detective. He enlists their help in recovering the videotape of a bank robbery. The bandit is described as a tall, red-haired high school boy. The three friends search for information as they go trick-or-treating and locate Lucky O'Leary, who fits the profile, but claims to be innocent. In fact, the robber on the video bears a striking resemblance to the supposed detective. Second in the series, this short, snappy Halloween story is full of funny incidents. The black-and-white drawings add to the fun. A good early chapter book that will be equally useful with remedial readers.Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL