Detective Small in the Amazing Banana Caper
By Wong Herbert Yee
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780618472857, 32pp.)
Publication Date: April 2007
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All the bananas are missing. Every single one, from uptown to downtown, have been stolen! The police are stumped. Who is taking all the bananas?
Time to call in Detective Small! When all the clues lead to the obvious, Detective Small follows his hunch, leading to sweet victory in the end!
Wong Herbert Yee lives in Michigan, where he writes and illustrates books for children including the Mouse and Mole series and the Fireman Small series. For a complete list of books by Wong Herbert Yee, visit www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com. For more information about Wong, visit his Web site at http://hometown.aol.com/wongherbertyee/
Detective Small may be short in stature, but he is long on brains and sleuthing skills. . . . This mystery is an exciting chase as readers follow along with Detective Small. . . . The charcoal-pencil and watercolor illustrations are comical, and include details everyone will laugh over, such as the Man in the Yellow Hat in a banana-related lineup. Yee also includes crime-solving information that will help children realize how difficult Small's job really is, such as the amount of research he does to tie together his clues. The rhyming text will help beginning readers anticipate what will happen next. It is dynamic, introducing great action words while still making the book fun to read. Even though Detective Small proves to be fallible, kids will cheer his efforts to solve the case and look forward to his next one.
School Library Journal
The rhyming text creates an infectious, bouncing rhythm that will appeal to many young listeners. It's Yee's pencil-and-watercolor illustrations, though, that really extend the action and humor in scenes showing the tiny detective, trench coat flapping, chasing down animal suspects. The story's cautionary message about making judgments before "you have all the facts" makes this a candidate for character-education units.
Featuring plenty of visual jokes (including a cameo from the Man in the Yellow Hat) and a narrative written in sprightly verse, the caper is sure to peel right off the shelf.