Detective Gordon: A Complicated Case

tr. from Swedish by Julia Marshall. illus. by Gitte Spee. 96p. (Detective Gordon). Gecko. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781776570591.
RedReviewStarGr 1–4—Detective Gordon is a pudgy toad with a strong penchant for cakes and a predilection for naps. Luckily for all involved, his assistant Buffy, an energetic and kind-hearted mouse, is always by his side and ready to work. When Buffy discovers that not everyone in the forest is happy and, indeed, some have become "sad and serious," the two set off to investigate. As they interview various witnesses, such as a weepy crow and a depressed rabbit, the two realize that someone is being intentionally cruel, and this constitutes a major crime for these gentle creatures. In order to solve the case, Buffy and Gordon must brave some of their own fears to figure out who is spreading gloom throughout the land. Once again, Nilsson (Detective Gordon: The First Case, [Gecko, 2015]) delivers a rare gem of a book with age-appropriate content for precocious young readers. Full of droll asides and an emphasis on the importance of kindness, this is also an excellent read-aloud selection for classrooms or families. Spee's charming illustrations add just the right feel to the gentle tone of the text, which is translated from the original Swedish. While it is optimal if kids have read the first book, it certainly is not necessary.
VERDICT A wonderful choice for independent readers who enjoy light mystery and adorable anthropomorphized animals, this is a must-have for chapter book collections.

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