Books Crime, Thriller, Mysteries and Puzzles Early Readers Features Genre It's Monday What Are You Reading Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes

[Monday Reading] Missing Cheese and Missing Friends in “Sherlock Bones” and “Boot and Shoe”

"Sherlock Bones And The Missing Cheese" by Susan Stevens Crummel and Illustrated by Dorothy Donohue | "Boot & Shoe" Written and Illustrated by Marla Frazee.

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. 

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. 🙂

Sherlock Bones And The Missing Cheese

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.

Boot & Shoe

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.

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

11 comments on “[Monday Reading] Missing Cheese and Missing Friends in “Sherlock Bones” and “Boot and Shoe”

  1. Susan Stevens Crummel came to my school last year. It was an amazing author visit.

    If anyone hasn’t heard, the call has gone out for Cybils judges. I hope some of the wonderful children’s/ya bloggers will head over there and apply! There is more information on my blog post, if you need it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. both of these books look delightful. Marla Frazee can do no wrong! I will have to check out Sherlock Bones And The Missing Cheese if I can find a copy.
    Your post this week has me thinking about the work of William Steig. I used his books for all kinds of reasons when I worked in the classroom. I did story drama with Roland the Minstrel Pig. Have you read it? For years I read The Real Thief to groups of children and we always ended up having profound conversations about guilt and justice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lindabaie

    I’ll look for Sherlock Bones And The Missing Cheese, sounds fun. I loved Boot & Shoe, but had forgotten about it. Maybe it’s time to find it again! Thanks, Myra.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Boot & Shoe is one of my favorites! I do themed ready-to-check-out book bundles at my library, and I love to include that one in my “I Love Dogs” and “Friends!” bundles. Such a cute read!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jana Eschner

    Both of your books this week look adorable! I’ll definitely have to look for them. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never read Book & Shoe before, but it looks super cute. I even like the font they used that looks almost hand-written. I’m going to have to see if we have this at one of my local libraries. Thanks for the shares, Myra!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The artwork is great in those books. See what I read this month at Girl Who Reads

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, these are both new to me!! Boot & Shoe looks particularly up my alley, thanks so much for this recommendation, I love discovering new-to-me books!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sarah Sammis

    Boot and Shoe has been on my wishlist for years. My weekly updates

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a cute theme. I love Marla Frazee’s artwork.


  11. I adore Boot & Shoe! Now I want to reread it…

    Liked by 1 person

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