cover image Sherlock Bones and the Missing Cheese

Sherlock Bones and the Missing Cheese

Susan Stevens Crummel, illus. by Dorothy Donohue. Amazon Children’s Publishing, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7614-6186-9

Donohue’s strikingly dimensional cut-paper collages are the main attraction of this canine detective story from the duo behind Ten-Gallon Bart and its sequels. The basset hound hero (who wears a houndstooth trench coat and hat, natch) is hired to find out who swiped a prized hunk of smelly but scrumptious Cowa-bunga cheese, the product of milk from a “one-horned, two-eared, three-legged” cow that likes to kick. Crummel’s semirhyming text never finds its rhythmic footing (“I was outside feeding my cat when—splat!—slices of cheese landed right on my hat,” the Muffin Man tells Sherlock Bones during the course of his investigation), and the story is overstuffed with verbal tics and incident; the latter includes a pilfering giant who gets schooled in community values. But thanks to Donohue, the spreads feel like stills from a 3-D movie. While other collagists have similar talents for texture and character, Donohue’s cinematic framing (which includes one particularly impressive overhead “shot” that evokes a classic western) and ability to suggest dynamic movement stand out. Ages 5–8. (Oct.)