K-Gr 2An appealing, if somewhat bungling, detective is introduced in this easy reader. Three short chapters each present a separate case. In "The Case of the Missing Hat," Detective Dinosaur's derby is on his head the whole time, although cleverly hidden from sight in each picture. In "Night Patrol," the detective is frightened by a noise. "Perhaps it is a monster!... Perhaps we should call the Police!" "We are the Police, sir!," Officer Pterodatyl reminds him. The jokes are not particularly original, but they are likely to sound fresh to young readers. Alley's watercolor-and-ink cartoons include plenty of visual interest and some sideline humor. The vocabularyDetective Dinosaur, Officer Pterodactyl, and Deputy Diplodocusmay seem at odds with the intended audience, but most primary graders know their dinosaur names (at least to hear them) as well as they know their ABCs. An entertaining addition.Sharon R. Pearce, San Antonio Public Library, TX
Children ready to read a simple story on their own may find that the three short mysteries in this I Can Read Book will fill the bill. The various plots are pleasantly silly and uncomplicated, and what kids may not grasp from the text (the dinosaurs' names may stop them, though probably not for long) can easily be gleaned from the artwork, which is warm, lively, and lots of fun. Enlarged type and extra leading make the reading easier.