Leon Chameleon, P.I, has already proven himself to be a great detective in his first case, but this case will challenge his wits. Mr. Woodland Mouse has disappeared, and Constable Mole knows that Leon is his only hope. Through his keen detective work and unique skills, Leon, with the help of his team, manages to find Mr. Woodland Mouse. But can they get him safely home?
Jan Hurst-Nicholson manages to entertain and inform all at the same time. Geared for a middle grade audience, the writing flows well and makes for a wonderful read-aloud as well as a read-alone. The advanced vocabulary will offer a challenge to the youngest readers and may be best done as a read-aloud, offering a great opportunity to teach new vocabulary and discuss the book. What I like most about this book is the seamless way the author has woven true facts about the various animals into the story. It’s done in such a way that it’s easy to learn new information without losing the flow of the narrative. In addition to the facts interspersed throughout the text, there is a compact little glossary of sorts in the back offering additional facts about each of the characters in the book. Add to that the attractive illustrations by Barbara McGuire, and you have a wonderful, entertaining, and educational story that is sure to engage readers of all ages.
4.5 /5 stars
(I previously reviewed the author’s humorous book for adults entitled: “But Can You Drink the Water?”)
**ETA: I had my 10 yo son read this book as well, because I wanted to get his thoughts. He read it quickly, in one sitting, and he felt it was a 3-star book. He thought it was interesting, and he really liked learning all those facts at the end of the book. Overall, however, he felt it needed more adventure, “like the Harry Potter books.” He tends to like the much longer books that have lots of adventure, and his first comment upon looking at the book on my sony 505 was to say “only 47 pages? wow, it’s short!”