Dotty Detective: The paw print puzzle by Clara Vulliamy
HarperCollins, 2016. ISBN 9780008132453
(Age: Beginning independent readers) Inspired by their favourite television character Fred Fantastic, Ace Detective, Dotty and her best friend Beans have formed the Join The Dots Detective Agency. They have special badges that they wear underneath their coat collars so they don't blow their cover and are ably assisted by Dotty's dog McClusky to solve mysteries that seem to occur. They are guided by Fred Fantastic's tenets of :
1. Stay Frosty. Always be on the lookout.
2. Follow That Hunch. If you've got a funny feeling you may be onto something important.
3. Use Your Noodle. Think.
4. A Light Bulb Moment. A sudden genius idea.
5. Get Proof. You must have the evidence before you can solve your case.
6. Jeepers Creepers. Use your Peepers.
In this episode they set out to solve the strange noises that Dotty hears in her hallway at night. When she opens her door and can't see anything she is almost convinced to believe in ghosts and that her house is haunted. But by using the clues, conveyed through secret notes written in invisible writing, they are able to identify what is really going on . . .
This is a series that is perfect for the newly independent reader with its layout, illustrations, larger font, shorter chapters and humour. The pace is rapid and the use of a variety of fonts highlights key ideas and actions without the need for a host of words. Girls will relate to her feisty nature but boys will also find the situations familiar and appealing. Others in the series are The Midnight Mystery, and The Lost Puppy.
A worthwhile new series to get for those who are beginning their independent reading journey.