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.
These three delightful picturebooks feature missing eyebrows, inspector cats, a Private I, and wayward cats – perfect for our current reading theme.
Written and Illustrated by Henry Cole
Published by Little Simon (2016)
ISBN: 1481442252 (ISBN13: 9781481442251). Book borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
This is a beautifully-illustrated wordless narrative of a young boy and his cat, aptly named Spot. The fact that the boy spends his time reading is something that was not lost on me and made me regard this book affectionately from the first few pages.
As can be seen in the image above – Spot, the cat, snuck out of the window and into the big wide world outside. The full-page black and white spreads invite the reader to pore in closely, shouting an “A-ha!” the minute they spot – what’s his name again? – Spot, the cat.
It didn’t take long for the young boy to realize that his cat, Spot, is missing – which naturally made him worried. He printed out missing posters and immediately set out to find Spot, the cat.
Whether or not this young reader is able to find his cat, I shall leave for you to discover. What I would have loved is for Henry Cole to have included a legend at the end of the book, signifying where Spot is throughout the narrative. Regardless, Spot does have a distinguishing mark, making it easy for him to well.. spot. Great for young readers who are developing their eye for detail.
Written by Angela Keoghan and Chris Lam Sam Illustrated by Angela Keoghan
Published by Tate (2017)
ISBN: 1849764441 (ISBN13: 9781849764445). Book borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
The first few pages introduce the young reader to the world’s greatest cat detective, named Inspector Brunswick and his assistant, the dog Nelson. Think of them as the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John H. Watson in the animal world. They are taking a leisurely stroll, on their way to the art museum.
However, once inside the museum, something seems to be agitating the patrons as they stare closely at a painting – making Inspector Brunswick’s whiskers “tingle with curiosity.” After a bit of sleuthing here and there, Inspector Brunswick figured it out, quite expertly if I may say so myself:
Now, the question is whether the eyebrow simply fell off – or whether it has been stolen! After much fainting and inspecting of shoes and hats, the master investigator concludes that something is afoot – requiring him to follow the footprint trail. HAH.
Who the culprit is, I shall leave for you to discover. I enjoyed this picturebook more than I thought I would. Definitely to be added to your list of animal sleuths.
Written by Tara Lazar Illustrated by Ross MacDonald
Published by Disney-Hyperion (2017)
ISBN: 1484717791 (ISBN13: 9781484717790). Book borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
I deliberately saved the best for last. The endpapers alone suggest that this book is cleverly conceived from start to finish:
So, you have a Private I and a client who happens to be number 6, afraid for his life, because he is pretty convinced that, well.. 7 ate 9. Makes sense that he might be next, right?
As the curmudgeonly Private I begins his investigations, he spoke to the other numbers to get his facts straight. His conversation with 8 made me chuckle:
Since proper sleuthing requires sustenance, our Private I went to Cafe Uno to order his favourite pi, generously topped with Ice cream, of course.
This is a thoroughly entertaining read filled with clever word play – I loved how the author and illustrator never talked down to their young readers and simply assumed that the kids would intelligently understand their message. Whether or not 7 indeed ate 9 is for you to figure out by finding a copy of this book – stat!
#LitWorld2018GB Update: 45 (of target 40) – New Zealand (Angela Keoghan and Chris Sam Lam are both based in Wellington)
Other books are from United States of America.