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FICTION

Detective Gordon: A Case for Buffy

illus. by Gitte Spee. 108p. (Detective Gordon). Gecko. Aug. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781776571789.
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Gr 1–3—The adorable crime-solving duo returns to deduce the whereabouts of Detective Buffy's mom. By focusing on Buffy's origin story, Nilsson deepens the series, which has already covered such meaningful themes as intergenerational friendship and bullying. This volume gently explores concepts like trauma, as when Buffy remembers the stressful circumstances under which she was separated from her entire family. There are a few loaded asides from Gordon that reinforce harmful forms of real-world bias ("Maybe mice could leave their families and think no more about them. You couldn't assume that everyone was like a completely ordinary toad"). This detracts from an otherwise thoughtfully crafted plot in which Gordon and Buffy learn from their younger sidekicks and Gordon acknowledges his own power. Spee's illustrations skillfully capture tender scenes along with spots of chuckle-worthy moments.
VERDICT The charming pastoral setting, Gordon's wry antics, and Buffy's heartfelt journey will provide much comfort to fans of the series, especially on rainy days or before bed.

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