Review Blog

Mar 19 2018

Dotty Detective: The birthday surprise by Clara Vulliamy

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HarperCollins, 2018. ISBN 9780008248413
(Age: 7+) Recommended. "Dot, her best friend Beans and her dog McClusky all love sniffing out a good mystery and together they will solve the case and save the day . . .
Dotty is sporty, funny, creative, clever and FEARLESS: She is great with codes and puzzles and most of all - if there's a mystery to solve - she's your girl. This time round her trusty sidekick, Beans and TOP DOG, McClusky are keeping secrets from Dotty - will she like their surprise?"(Publisher)
Dot is a stationery-mad girl with a fondness for coding and detection and each of the brilliant Dotty Detective books shows her solving a mystery at school or at home, with the help of her best friend Beans - and of course McClusky the dog.
The fifth book in the series (although they do not have to be read in order), will be popular with both boys and girls aged 7 and up. Dot's friendship with Beans is threatened with the arrival of a new boy in the class. She is now faced with a dilemma of who will help her solve the mystery when it presents itself to her? Once again Vulliamy has hit the nail on the head with the way she is introducing the children to the appealing mystery and detective genre while combining everyday life issues including siblings, friendship and school life. Although it is not a graphic novel, I do love the snapshots, codes and doodles that are interspersed in the text. These will certainly be a hit with a wide range of children and would make a great read aloud.
Kathryn Schumacher

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