Books It's Monday What Are You Reading Mystereadventure Reading Themes

[Monday Reading] Burglars, Sherlock Bones, and a Skeptical Boy-Hero


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.

Last Week’s Review and Miscellany Posts

We’re also inviting everyone to join our Award Winning Books Reading Challenge for 2015 (#AWBRead2015)! You still have a month left before the year ends to win book prizes.

Congratulations to Libby Vine for her review of Me, Frida and The Fourteenth GoldfishPlease send your contact details to gatheringbooks (at) yahoo (dot) com to receive your copy of Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick courtesy of Pansing Books.


Here is the sign up page and the November-December linky if you already have reviews up. One randomly-selected participant would receive a copy of The World of Norm: May Contain Nuts by Jonathan Meres courtesy of Pansing Books.


Click here to view my announcement post to learn more details.


When I was looking for picturebooks that are mystery-themed, I actually had quite a difficult time (would appreciate any recommendations you might have!). So I am glad to have found these three titles (spanning from the 70s until 2012) from the library as they all speak of sinister sleuthing stories indeed.

IMG_6443Burglar Bill

Written and Illustrated by: Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Published byPuffin Books, 1977
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Published in the late 70s, this picturebook by award-winning tandem Janet and Allan Ahlberg introduces readers to Burglar Bill who steals the food that he eats each day, his tea for supper, even his comfortable bed is stolen too.


As he was going about his usual skulking, stealthing ways one evening, he chanced upon a “nice big brown box with little holes in it” – and since it looked quite interesting, he took it with him, not realizing that it contained a huge surprise:


A baby! And a crying talking one too! Burglar Bill had no recourse but to wash his nappies, feed him apples, and sing songs to him to make the baby stop crying. It does appear that this baby will change the course of Burglar Bill’s life as that same evening, there was someone who burgled his place: Burglar Betty! Who turned out to be the baby’s momma!


How the story ended, I have a feeling you’d be able to figure out on your own. While the story traversed the didactic line quite tightly, it remained an entertaining read.

Boy Saves Earth from Giant Octopus!IMG_6449

Written byFrank Asch Illustrated by: Devin Asch
Published by: Kids Can Press, 2010
Borrowed fromthe Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Set in New York, this story features a young cynical boy, Hayward, who was brought by his father to his workplace in the city, The Daily Comet for “Go to Work With a Parent Day.” Hayward thought that his father’s job was nothing but a hoax as they write about seemingly-impossible, borderline-fiction news events on the paper.


This book is filled with a lot of visual allusions and quite a number of strange occurrences that made Hayward think that his father was putting on an elaborate show just for him,


making him roll his eyes in boredom and consternation… until, the giant octopus nearly took over the entire world, and he found himself becoming a reluctant hero. As you can see in the image above, even the news photographer Alfonzo is a dead ringer for Elvis Presley. I am sure there are even more visual puns here that I may have missed.


While Hayward takes pride in believing only in clear solid facts, his experience with his father made him realize that things may not be as simple as he originally thought they would be.

IMG_6434Sherlock Bones and the Missing Cheese

Written bySusan Stevens Crummel Illustrated by: Dorothy Donohue
Published by: Amazon Children’s Pubkishing, 2012
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Inspired by the familiar nursery song The Farmer in the Dell, the story features a smelly but oh-so-scrumptious cheese “made from the milk of a cantankerous cow”, the three-legged Cowabunga – which got stolen one moon-lit night.


And so Farmer Jones had no recourse but to seek the help of the ever-famous Sherlock Bones who uses his senses to solve puzzles and find missing cheese!


Among the three books, I have to admit that this is my favourite. It appeals to my empiricist’s heart as Sherlock Bones went about sniffing and tasting clues, investigating what was seen, heard and felt – and found the cheese all the way up to the Giant’s beanstalk who stole the scrumptious cheese to make pizza!


The collage art is masterful too, along with the exciting storyline that begs to be read aloud. I especially liked Sherlock’s Clues found at the end of the book – again, yay to empiricism!


Currently Reading…

I finished reading two novels over the past two weeks for my two book clubs: The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness and Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.

My daughter and I have also just finished reading Ruin and Rising, the final installment in The Grisha Trilogy a few days ago. At the moment, I am excited to go back to Ravka by reading Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo as it seems perfect for our current reading theme.


35 comments on “[Monday Reading] Burglars, Sherlock Bones, and a Skeptical Boy-Hero

  1. Love the illustrations in Sherlock Bones! Great name too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Definitely will be on the look out for The Rest of Us Just Live Here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love those picture books! It has been a while since I had small grandchildren to read them with me….thanks for sharing. Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think my granddaughter would love Sherlock Bones, the illustrations look so cute. Seraphina is on my groaning TBR mountain lol. Have a great week and happy reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An interesting assortment of books. Love the Beatles comics.

    Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. An interesting assortment of books! Love the Beatles comics.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Burglar Bill is a story I remember reading in my own childhood – that was a throwback!

    I’ve heard a lot about The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness seems to do no wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So many good ones to read. I’d love to have Six of Crows right now. So many are praising it! Love seeing all these unusual picture books, Myra. The only one I can think of right now is The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. I imagine you know it, & it doesn’t ‘exactly’ have a plot, but it is wonderful for kids & adults! Happy Reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Linda! Yup, we featured Harris Burdick for our Whodunit Reading Theme a few years back (2011, I think). I am actually looking forward to reading The Chronicles of Harris Burdick which has been waiting unread on my shelf for the longest time.


  9. Thanks for this post. I always look forward to reading your blog, especially the It’s Monday posts to see what goodies you have read and have waiting to be read.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. All of these mystery themed picture books are new to me. I wish I had Sherlock Bones and the Missing Cheese because it looks like it can be read as part of many different studies. I hope you are going to write more about Seraphina – I’m looking forward to reading what you think of it,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cheriee, I am discussing Seraphina with my book club for young readers in two weeks’ time – I would most likely share the group’s discussion. 🙂


  11. We’re having a mystery themed story time for Indies First later this month. Who Done it? by Oliver Tallec is cute. The Book Burglar. Oliver Jeffer’s Great Paper Caper. The Eleventh Hour and Mini Grey’s Hermelin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wonderful suggestions, Earl. I believe we featured Great Paper Caper and The Eleventh Hour when we had our Whodunit Reading Theme back in 2011. Will definitely try to find the book burglar and the Mini Grey and Oliver Tallec titles.


  12. Wow…love your post.

    Lots of wonderful books here. That stack of books looks great.

    Love the Beatles’ book.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My It’s Monday, What Are You Reading

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oo mystery picture books – hmmmm…there are the Detective LaRue books by Mark Teague, Mystery on the Docks by Thatcher Hurd, Mystery of the Missing Mitten by Steven Kellog. Maybe The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, and Miss Nelson is Missing? I love to theme read. 🙂

    Six of Crows sounds really good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there Erin – yes we featured Mark Teague’s Detective LaRue books when we had our Whodunit Reading theme a few years back and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs for our fractured fairy tale theme – and yes Miss Nelson is Missing too! I will have to find the ones by Thatcher Hurd and the Steven Kellogg one – thank you so much for the recommendations!


  14. Interesting books about mysteries. It is not easy to find picture books that tell good mysteries. Sherlock Bones looks interesting. There is also a book called Hermelin the Mouse Detective, but although the mouse solves mysteries there is not a mystery that is central to the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What an awesome post! All of these books are new to me, and I’m definitely licking my chops to get to them! Thanks for sharing. I’ll be checking my library to see which ones I can find.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Chasing Vermeer is a fun mystery with an intriguing plot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tammy and Clare – thank you for this suggestion. I believe I own a copy of this title – it’s just languishing here in my bookshelves, I hope to get to it soonest.


  17. I think it was clever of you to search for mystery picture books. I like the looks of Burglar Bill and Sherlock Bones. It’s trippy the lesson of Burglar Bill. I have Seraphina and the first Grisha book on my TBR. I’m glad to read you loved the Grisha series and I’m curious to see what you think of Seraphina. Six of Crows intrigued me so that got added too. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Stephanie, that is so true. We are not really limiting our reviews though to just picturebooks – although I find it easier to review them hence the strategic search for PB titles – and yes, I hope you enjoy the Grisha trilogy as well.


  18. Oh – I see here that the theme is for picture books. I will keep my eyes open. 🙂 Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Martha – thanks for dropping by! While we do feature a great deal of picturebooks/kidlit, we also review middle grade/ YA fiction/ and adult novels. 🙂


  19. That stack of books you posted made me very happy. There is something about a stack of library books that is so soul-fulfilling. As always, I love your post. You are so artistic, which makes the blog seem less linear. It is quite enjoyable to read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Loved Ghostopolis and Hilda, so I am glad you shared them both! Such great graphic novels.
    Seraphina and the newest Ness book are both books that I want to read, so I look forward to seeing what you think.

    Happy reading this week! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. crbrunelle

    Many of these titles are new to me. I am eager to read the Patrick Ness book along with Six of Crows.


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