JAKE GANDER, STORYVILLE DETECTIVE: The Case of the Greedy Granny

George McClements, Author . Hyperion $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7868-0662-1

At the start of this deadpan parody of nursery stories and gumshoes, Jake Gander (who's a guy, not a goose) puts down his Once Upon a Times newspaper to field a call from Red R. Hood. "It was a code P.W.T. (Possible Wolf Trouble)," he intones. At the home of Red's Granny, Jake finds a brown beast sprawled under a purple duvet, but does not jump to conclusions: "I decided to take our little party downtown to clear things up." The resolute but dim investigator—who appears in black-and-white while all around him is in color—inspects this "Granny's" pointy ears and bulging, hard-boiled-egg eyes; later he learns the real Granny is on vacation. Meanwhile, the pot-bellied wolf never resists arrest. With its lockjaw grin and unfocused stare, the silent perp appears more neurotic than predatory, and Red seems quite unruffled by the situation. First-time author/artist McClements mimes the punchy first-person style of detective fiction and presents the evidence as snapshots paperclipped to a yellow manila folder. Visual jokes—a diagram of Humpty Dumpty's fall, a filing cabinet labeled "Frogs (non-princely)"—provide mild levity in the collage illustrations. But unlike the sustained Mother Goose send-up in last year's The Web Files, this book is an open-and-shut case. Ages 3-7. (July)

Reviewed on: 06/10/2002
Release date: 07/01/2002
Genre: Children's
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