Snoop Troop: It Came from Beneath the Playground

176p. (Snoop Troop). Little, Brown. 2014. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9780316242714; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780316242738. LC 2013041706.
Gr 2–4—Fifth-grade Logan loves a good mystery. And when the merry-go-round goes missing at the local amusement park, she and her "arch-nuisance," Gustavo Muchomacho try to break the case and find out why everything on the playground is sinking underground. Newly independent readers will enjoy the graphic novel format and be encouraged to help solve the mystery. The narrator is integral to the story as he interacts with the characters and readers, involving the latter in the story. Children are encouraged to examine the illustrations for clues. With illustrations on every page and bonus back material, including drawing how-to's and puzzles, this early chapter book will appeal to young readers.—Annette Herbert, F. E. Smith Elementary School, Cortland, NY
Zaniness abounds as fledgling fourth-grade detectives Logan Lang and Gustavo Muchomacho unite to investigate the disappearance of kids' toys and local recreational items. Clues are everywhere, especially in the busy cartoonlike illustrations. The narrator's crime-drama parody and the characters' wisecracks sometimes feel forced, but this fusion of mystery, graphic novel, and activity book, first in a series, offers much to engage young readers.

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