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.
While the first picturebook features a dog sleuth by the clever name of Sherlock Bones, the second one by Marla Frazee does feature missing friends, so I thought it can still stretch into our current reading theme, albeit barely. 🙂
Written by Susan Stevens Crummel Illustrated by Dorothy Donohue
Published by Two Lions (2012)
ISBN: 0761461868 (ISBN13: 9780761461869). Book borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
Inspired by the children’s song The Farmer In The Dell (the musical notes of the entire song can be found at the end of the book), the story revolves around the missing scrumptious cheese made from the milk of a “one-horned, two-eared, three-legged Cowabunga.”
Evidently, it is a special kind of cheese that makes all the folks in this farm very happy. Until the day that the big scrumptious, smelly cheese was stolen. Hence, Farmer Jones sought the help of .. who else but Sherlock Bones.
The image above is what made me sit up and really pay attention to the story. Sherlock Bones makes use of his senses to determine the clues to his case: looking, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling. He is a systematic empiricist! Huzzah! Hooray for those who employ empirical means to conduct thorough investigations.
As Sherlock dutifully follows where his senses take him, the reader gets to see muffins and handmade pizza swimming in tomato sauce with chunky cheese baked in the oven by the giant in Jack’s beanstalk. I am telling you, if you’re not hungry while you’re reading the book, you will be – by the time you finish reading. Who stole the cheese, I shall leave for you to discover.
I especially liked how in the end, there was a summary of all of Sherlock’s clues across the five senses, which helped him crack the case. I was also fairly taken with the collage type of art used by Donohue. While the rhyming scheme did not particularly work for me, I still found it to be an entertaining read.
Written and Illustrated by Marla Frazee
Published by Beach Lane Books (2012)
ISBN: 1442422475 (ISBN13: 9781442422476). Book borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
I am a fan of Marla Frazee. When I found this book displayed in our library shelves, I knew I will have to find a way to include it in our current reading theme. The premise of the story is fairly simple. Boot and Shoe are very good friends who live together in a pretty big house, and they do most things together.
While they enjoy each other’s company, they also equally seem to enjoy and respect each other’s solitude, with Boot preferring the back porch, and Shoe being a “front porch kind of dog.” It is this little detail, which for me, added a certain depth and nuance to the narrative.
Things seem pretty idyllic, up until the time when Squirrel came into both their lives and stirred up trouble. I am sure young readers – or even those in their early primary years – will be able to identify, especially since friendships are tightly knitted with clear ‘best friends’ or BFFS among kids who can be pretty territorial.
Hence, a ruckus ensued, with Boot finding himself in the front porch and Shoe in the back porch in a topsy-turvy version of their idyllic existence. Both dogs are afraid of moving from their spot for fear that they will miss the other whom they are expecting anytime to be in their usual spot. It is this fervent faith, unswerving loyalty, and certainty of the other one being lost and eventually finding their way back that truly struck a chord in me.
This is a multi-layered story that will affect all readers emotionally, regardless of their age, be they 5 or 85. A gorgeous tale about losing someone, searching for them, and finding them in the end. Where Boot and Shoe happen to be is a mystery you will have to solve by finding this book stat! A truly beautiful read.
#LitWorld2018GB Update: United States of America.