FICTION

Detective Sweet Pea: The Case of the Golden Bone

First Second. (­Detective Sweet Pea: Bk. 1). May 2024. 208p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781250236371.
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Gr 2-5–Parkville’s ready to celebrate their precious famous attraction, the Golden Chew Bone, when misfortune strikes and the bone is stolen! For a close community like this, the resulting bad breath and toothaches makes it a pretty concerning crime. In order to rectify this, the museum director enlists the all-around friendly, and trash-loving dog, Sweet Pea. Even with her super sniffer though, the trail runs cold at several points. It’s her first case, but thanks to friends and historic inspiration, she has just what she needs to solve it. While this graphic novel presents itself in a genuine manner where the animals speak earnestly, the cartoonish style and silly situations injects a comedic note into the proceedings. Further adding to the family-friendly appeal is a cooperative tone that eases readers into accepting the wholesome messages and ending. While Sweet Pea learns the ropes, the story also acts as a gateway into the mystery genre. Before the theft even occurs, a tour clearly establishes all the potential suspects, Sweet Pea’s skills, and the locked box scenario. The author points out motivations, clues, and methods for overcoming hurdles that may prompt kids to come up with their own theories. With a whole community of friends to follow and colored notes that literally point out additional information, readers will have lots to chew on.
VERDICT A sweet and silly mystery comic for kids just dipping their toes into the genre.

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