March 25, 2017

Module 9 Mystery

Book Cover

Book Summary:
In the land of nursery rhymes Little Boy Blue becomes a detective. One of his jobs is to find Little Miss Muffet. So he searches all over town meeting different nursery rhymes until he finds Miss Muffit who doesn't like curds and whey but wants to try the woods!

APA Reference of Book:

Metzger, S., & Arnold, T. (2011). Detective Blue [several different titles found for this book but used this since found on copyright page listed like this]. New York: Orchard Books.


This was a cute easy mystery for young readers who like Fly Guy (same illustrator). The bulgy eyes and bean shaped people are funny looking like in Fly Guy but still not too over the top. It is set up like a graphic novel or comic which is also a format kids love, but they don't tend to read mysteries. I think the graphic novel format will draw them in to reading a mystery. It gives you the basics to a mystery: someone missing or has something missing,  clues, and the solution. Since this story is so simple I would recommend it for kinder through third grade. I also liked the additional I spy aspect in the front to try and find all the different nursery rhymes in the book.

Professional Review:

PreS-Gr 2-- Nursery-rhyme characters take on new, but somewhat familiar, roles in this comic-book-style mystery featuring the dedicated flatfoot formerly known as Little Boy Blue. After a typical day starting with cleaning the dish and spoon and making sure Mary's lamb doesn't get into school, Detective Blue is approached by a panicked Jack Sprat reporting that Miss Muffet is missing. In panels full of funny details and spoken asides, the gumshoe interviews various denizens of the rhyme scene to track down his quarry. The mystery is solved when a spider reports that Miss Muffet hates curds and whey and went looking for some tasty porridge. Blue finds Miss Goldilocks Muffet fleeing the three bears' cottage, resulting in a celebratory and satisfying conclusion. Referencing more than 20 nursery rhymes, the madcap mystery will keep children--and adults--intrigued with tiny tips that point the detective and readers in the right direction. The bright, full-color art was created using pencil sketches and Photoshop. Arnold's typical scribbly and big-eyed characters are a perfect match for the "film joie de vivre" atmosphere (the book is rightly dedicated to Stan Freberg) and even older kids will be unable to resist revisiting favorite rhymes from their childhood. A good bet for most collections.
Loch-Wouters, M. (2011). Detective Blue. School Library Journal, 57(7), 72.

Library Uses:

I would definitely use this to start a genre introduction to mysteries. I would talk about what a mystery is and the parts that make it a mystery with small posters or graphic posted on board/chart while reading the book. After the book discuss the different parts of what makes a mystery and identify or match it to the story. You could also do a sequencing activity with having them arrange the different pictures or parts of the story.

My Rating:
My students loved this book and another by a different author called Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty? and other Notorius Nurse Tale Mysteries by David Levinthal. Both are good small introductions to mysteries without a lot of words or chapters. I liked it too despite it being so simple.

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