Review Blog

May 30 2017

The midnight mystery by Clara Vulliamy

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Dotty Detective bk 3. HarperCollins Children's Books, 2017. ISBN 9780008132422
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Mystery. Detective. Camps. The Join the Dots Detectives have a brand new adventure to enthral fans. Dot and Beans are off on an Adventure Camp. They're looking forward to being away from home and going grass tobogganing and sitting around a campfire at night. Under the guidance of their teacher Mr D the class is divided into groups and all want to win the Adventure Camp Prize but Laura is up to her old tricks again and weird things start to happen. Meanwhile back at home McLusky has been entered into the Larks in the Park Dog Show and Dot really wants him to win something in the competition.
Vulliamy once again brings an exciting book for young fans who might imagine themselves as detectives. She introduces her young detectives and their school group at the beginning of the book in such a way that readers new to the Dotty Detective feel comfortable in picking up the book, even if they haven't read the first two in the series, Dotty Detective, and Dotty Detective: The pawprint puzzle. The adventures at the camp are vividly described and Dotty is very clever about finding out why strange things are happening and is also very compassionate when she uncovers the unexpected truth at the conclusion of the camp. McLusky, her gorgeous little dog, also trains hard at home for his appearance in the show.
This is a delightful tale that will appeal to children who may be afraid about going to Adventure Camp as the illustrations give a good idea of what to expect and will be reassuring about what will happen there. Her depiction of the teacher and helping hands at the camp was also encouraging for children who may be a little scared about being away from home.
Written in the very popular diary form this will have immediate appeal for the young reader who is just starting out on junior novels. Large print with lots of bold words will help the emerging reader and funny little illustrations add to the humour and suspense of the story and the picture code that Dot and Beans used will be a challenge for children who like to solve problems.
Pat Pledger

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