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SLY THE SLEUTH AND THE FOOD MYSTERIES
By Donna Jo Napoli and Robert Furrow, illustrated by Heather Maione
Dial Books for Young Readers, April 2007 ($16.99)
Ages 7 and up, grades 2 and up
Reviewed by Shirley H. Wetzel
This is the third in the Sly the Sleuth series, written by a mother and son team. The previous titles are SLY THE SLEUTH AND THE PET MYSTERIES, and SLY THE SLEUTH AND THE SPORTS MYSTERIES. The mysteries Sly has to solve this time all center on food, a topic dear to her heart and that of her friends.
There are three cases in this volume. The first, "Sly and Something Fishy," involves Fluffy, a cat whose custody is shared by several neighbors, including Sly’s buddy Jack. Before she can decide whether to take the cat case, her best friend Melody shows up with her own very important case and demands to be first on Sly’s detecting list. Sly weighs her priorities -- Jack is a repeat customer, but Melody is her best friend -- and also a good customer. Sly’s rule of thumb: she only takes cases that are fun, and only after consultation with her cat Taxi. As it turns out, the two cases are related, and have to do with junk food, health nuts, and a little boy’s sweet tooth.
Case two, "Sly and Something Cooking," involves the members of Sly’s cheerleading squad. Bossy Kate decides they should be a cooking club instead, and the others go along with her. Princess, however, seems intent on breaking the rules, and Sly is asked to figure out why.
In Case three, "Sly and Something Seedy," Jack asks Sly to find out how and why oranges are going missing from his backpack.
This is a simple, nice book for younger readers, and the illustrations are charming. The three "cases" all carry a lesson of some kind, including food allergies, misinformation about health matters, and friendship.
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