Young Cam Jansen and the Dinosaur Game (Young Cam Jansen Series #2)by David A. Adler, Susanna Natti
A jar full of toy dinosaurs, a game of musical chairs, and a smudge of chocolate cake. Can Cam Jansen put the clues together to solve a birthday party puzzle?
Children's Literature - Marilyn CourtotCam and her friend Eric are going to a birthday party for Jane Bell, but when they get in the car Mr. Jansen has forgotten to bring the invitation with the address. Now readers are introduced to Cam and her photographic memory as she is able to bring up in her mind an image of the invitation and provide her father with the address. Once at the party, there was a jar full of dinosaurs and everyone was supposed to guess how many ere in the jar. The winner would get it as a prize. There is a drawing and Robert has the exact number. Well, that is just too amazing and Cam manages to prove that he cheated. In the end Eric is the winner and in more ways than guessing the closest numberhe is also generous about sharing his jar of dinosaurs. There is a good story and a good lesson in this early reader. The watercolor insets are engaging and appear frequently enough to help readers and to also keep the text from appearing too dense. A Level 3 book in the "Penguin Young Readers" series. Also designated as Guided Reading Level "J," this transitional reader offers more challenge, different points of view and contains a note to parents and teachers on the opening page. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library JournalK-Gr 2The child detective of chapter-book fame now appears in a beginning-to-read series. Dinosaur Game, however, does not quite measure up to Adler's earlier tales. Cam and her friend Eric are invited to a birthday party, where everyone has a chance to guess how many toy dinosaurs are in a jar. When Robert guesses the exact number, Cam becomes suspicious and sets out to prove that he cheated. She is the only one to realize that there is a problem, so there's no shared experience of problem solving. Missing Cookie has suspense and humor. Cam and Eric solve the mystery with the help of her photographic memory. Adler explains the girl's amazing mental abilities through a sequence in math class. Later, Cam puts them to the test when Jason's chocolate-chip cookie disappears from his lunch box. Natti's illustrations in both books will win the approval and attention of young readers. The sharp, detailed strokes and bright colors complement Adler's simple texts. However, each adventure is concluded in 32 pages, which really limits plot and character development.Mary Ann Bursk, Bucks County Free Library, Levittown, PA
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