Fans of Detective Wilcox and Captain Griswold who we met in The Case of The Missing Carrot Cake (A Wilcox and Griswold Mystery) (Creston Books, LLC, May 12, 2015) have returned in their second thrilling episode combining mystery and hilarity. . . With every reading the language written by Robin Newman gets richer and richer with one comedic comment, thought or sentence after another. Her command of word play will have you laughing out loud at the same time you wonder in amazement how she manages to create combination after combination of words with more than one meaning. The references to chickens, other fowl and farm life are astonishing.
The blend of dialogue, spoken and silent accounts by Detective Wilcox and the lack of speech but knowing looks by Captain Griswold make for an eggs-cellent contrast. The use of time of day and place at the beginning of each chapter add to the law enforcement atmosphere. Detective Wilcox usually manages to close chapters with astute observations.
"If we don't find Penny fast, I whispered to the captain, "she might end up in an omelet. Or worse, in a bucket of fried chicken!"
We had to scramble on this case. Scramble before we had scrambled eggs indeed.
Illustrator Deborah Zemke has a keen eye for making the book case look like a well-used file folder or pages from a case file. Placing the A Wilcox and Griswold Mystery logo inside a poached egg is sheer design genius. The cracked egg shells and fowl prints carry across the opening endpapers which includes the verso and title pages. Every detail references to policemice work.
On the two introductory pages a map of Ed's Farm is placed over MFI photographs of Captain Griswold and Detective Wilcox. With every page turn small images on placed within the text, reflecting the narrative. Each chapter begins with an oval image at the top. To emphasize a moment the illustration might cover a half of the page or be spread across the bottom of two pages.
The eyes on the chickens, the body posture and facial expressions on all the characters, and their clothing add to the humor. It's particularly funny that the MFIs are much smaller than most of the animals on the farm. Readers will find themselves chuckling at some of the details; Colonel Peck's oversized comb, the names of the chickens written on their boxes, and Gabby's pouch for carrying her egg, Gertie.
One of my favorite illustrations of many is at the beginning. There is something about Detective Wilcox's and Captain Griswold's car being a wind-up toy which I find hilarious. In the lower half of the page they are leaving MFI Headquarters which happens to be a Sneaker Squeakers box. As Griswold opens the driver's side of the car, Wilcox is turning the key to get the car moving. Their hats and coats are totally in keeping with the old style vision of law enforcement attire.
Sleuths are going to get caught up in this farmyard whodunit trying to piece the clues together. The Case Of The Poached Egg (A Wilcox and Griswold Mystery) written by Robin Newman with illustrations by Deborah Zemke is bursting with the imaginative use of words. I don't think you will ever look at an egg the same way again. Early readers are going to savor every page.
Fans of Wilcox and Griswold will cheer at the return of their favorite no-nonsense mice detectives in Robin Newman's latest crime caper, The Case of the Poached Egg. Spirited and comical, readers will dive into the police work and help find the Henrietta's stolen egg.
Newman is a master at writing highly entertaining food-based wordplay which will tickle every child's gander. Newman creates the right amount of suspense that will keep kids engaged and turning pages to figure out who poached Penny. Her pacing is exceptional and readers will like the clever ending.
The characters are quirky, dramatic and memorable. Henrietta Hen is ready to fly the coop when she discovers Penny, her precious egg, has been stolen (poached) from her nest. Everyone is suspect on Ed's Farm as Wilcox and Griswold try to crack the case. Gabby Goose is the farm gossip and her egg, Gertie, is competing against Penny. Miss Rabbit bakes her famous carrot cakes with eggs. Even Porcini Pig's slop is examined. Colonel Peck, the farm's rooster, is missing corn kernels. Readers will become competent detectives as they learn how to investigate a crime scene, interview suspects, look at a ransom note, set up surveillance and stakeouts, and solve a mystery.
Children's Books Heal - Patricia Tilton
The short chapters, good use of white space, and plentiful illustrations make this series a great choice for newly independent readers. The egg-based mystery is appropriately hard-boiled in its style and well-stocked with groanworthy puns that will draw kids in.
This early reader series is more challenging than a picture book and easier than a small novel, making it a great transition book. I like that the books introduce kids to detective processes, such as analyzing clues and using deductive reasoning, and also to mystery novels. The book has a slightly more serious mood to it compared to the first book, but does include some puns and silly situations as well. I like the feel of the story, it is more of a mystery/crime solving book for little kids. The Wilcox and Griswold characters are wonderful and will quickly become a reader's favorite. This would be a fun read-aloud, with parents and kids trying to figure out who look Henrietta's egg. Zemke's illustrations have a really neat Roald Dahl-esque feel to them, with an ink-and-watercolor style, and wacky circumstances.
Wilcox and Griswold have returned for their second hardboiled detective mystery, this time searching for a stolen egg.
This well-conceived story is filled with funny full-color illustrations on each page and clever puns, which may go over the heads of younger readers, but are sure to delight older readers and make adults chuckle. When the detectives determine that the criminal writes with a distinctive letter 'e' and they begin collecting handwriting samples, the illustrations add another level of engagement, as readers join the detectives in searching for the backwards 'e.' . . an appealing early chapter book that is inviting for children who are moving up and reading on their own, as well as for adults who are reading it aloud.
BayViews ACL Book Reviews
A whodunit for newly independent readers with wordplay galore.Detective Wilcox and Capt. Griswold are two anthropomorphic mice on the crime beat at the farm. They are "Missing Food Investigators." The text that follows their story is broken up into some sections that emulate police logs and short chapters with narrative text and dialogue. Both parts, however, are laden with puns. "The poached egg" of the title is a stolen egg belonging to one Henrietta Hen. When she calls to report the crime Wilcox asks, "Did she fly the coop?" The MFIs interrogate various suspects about potential "fowl play" around the farm, including the loquacious Gabby Goose and Col. Peck, the rooster. Handwriting analysis and the thief's slip-up at an egg contest lead the rodent gumshoes to the culprit, a "rotten egg" indeed, by the end of the book. Cartoon illustrations bolster the humor of the text and will provide some context clues, though the layout is rather cluttered and the text is likely too complex in large, overwhelming text blocks for many new readers; kids readying themselves to move on to chapter books should find it a suitable challenge. A hard-boiled text for determined new readers in pursuit of wordplay. (Early reader. 7-8)