cover image The Clock Without a Face

The Clock Without a Face

Mac Barnett, Scott Teplin, Eli Horowitz. McSweeney's, 19.95 (30pp) ISBN 978-1-934781-71-5

Part The Westing Game, part Masquerade, this board book mystery lures readers in with its pentagonal shape, dry humor, and pages of intricate details. But the chief draw is the promise of—very real—buried treasure, with the clues to its locations hidden within the book. Narrator Gus Twintig plays an imbecilic Watson to the Holmes that is detective Roy Dodge. They are summoned to a 13-story apartment building to investigate a string of robberies: the emerald-encrusted numbers have been stolen from a clock belonging to owner Bevel Ternky, and his 12 tenants have also been burgled. Dodge and Twintig make their way down the building, interviewing bizarre residents in equally eccentric apartments (Sigfried Plumpjack’s dwelling is a maze of hamster trails for him and his piano-playing hamster). The right side of each spread is an overhead cutaway view of each apartment, ostensibly drawn by Twintig. Given the potential of discovering clues to where the actual bejeweled numbers (created by jewelry designer Anna Sheffield) have been hidden, kids should be plenty motivated to pore over each scene. Ages 9–up. (May)