MYSTERY

Arthur Geisert, Author . Houghton/Lorraine $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-27293-8

Who's been stealing pieces of the paintings in the museum? That's just what a clever piglet and her grandfather attempt to find out in this newest adventure featuring Geisert's (Nursery Crimes) beloved pigs. Each week on "copying day," the book's young protagonist, along with Grandpa and other art-minded pigs, can be found at the local museum sketching the works on the walls. But when the aspiring artist piglet discovers that many paintings have been cut and then unskillfully patched, a mystery unfolds. Happily, the quick-thinking heroine's sketchpad and eye for detail help her solve the crime. Young readers may not have such an easy time of it, however, as Geisert's denouement takes a slightly complex twist or two. The setting here proves the perfect canvas for Geisert to unleash his gentle humor as well as his fondness for both art and pigs via his etchings. Several paintings on the museum walls suggest well-known American masterpieces, but feature pig subjects (e.g. a tribute to Grant Wood's American Gothic and a Calder-like mobile). And, of course, other Midwestern touches abound—angel pigs cavort on a painted dome ceiling; ears of corn frame a skylight. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/15/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
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