King & Kayla and the Case of the Gold Ring

Peachtree. (King and Kayla: Bk. 7). Feb. 2021. 48p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781682632079; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781682632086.
Gr 2-4–Dog and girl detective duo King and Kayla are playing in the snow with friend Mason building a snow fort when they are joined by Asia, who shows the group her newly acquired gold ring, a family heirloom she prizes. After a snowball fight, the group goes inside to warm up and drink cocoa, and Mom tosses their wet things in the dryer. When Asia realizes her precious ring is missing, the friends search everywhere. Did King eat the ring? Did it go down the drain? Is it outside buried in the snow? The trio list facts, then make an action plan, even going so far as to have Mom take apart the sink. Meanwhile, King interrogates the noisy crow outside, convinced that he is the culprit. In a fun twist, the narrative is told from the dog’s perspective. King can understand the humans, although they cannot comprehend him, and he can also speak with the crow. King’s inner monologues are hilarious and heartfelt as he tries to communicate his important detective observations with the humans in his life. Meyers depicts King in generously allotted colored sketches with articulated facial expressions. Highly entertaining, this funny and warm story contains life lessons for young readers about friendship, responsibility, and problem-solving.
VERDICT This early chapter book, with five distinct sections, will serve as a terrific transition reader for those just beginning to delve into chapter book level reading. Recommended for juvenile fiction collections.

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