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Review: Detective Blue

Miss Muffet is missing. Sounds like a job for Detective Blue, but the former Little Boy is going to have to search through a lot of nursery rhymes to get to the bottom of this bowl of curds and whey!

Detective Blue
Written by Steve Metzger; Illustrated by Tedd Arnold
Ages 4-7
Orchard/Scholastic, July 2011, ISBN 978-0-545-172868
32 pages, 16.99

Nursery rhyme fans will love the noir twist Metzger and Arnold add to a host of classic tales. As Detective Blue searchs throughout the city for the clues that will lead him to the missing Muffet, he interacts with Humpty Dumpty, the Dish and the Spoon, Jack Sprat, and more. Those nursery rhyme characters who don’t come into direct contact with the Detective are present in the background of each panel, offering comments or humorous asides. But even readers who don’t know the less familiar characters will still enjoy the silliness as the serious Detective interacts with the wacky residents of his city.

Arnold’s art is a big draw, obviously, because of the popularity of his Fly Guy early readers. Here he works in full graphic novel form, filling each large panel with boldly lined characters and deep, rich colors. This gives just the right gravity to Blue’s search and helps reinforce the classic detective feel, while the squat, bug-eyed characters bring an appealing, child-friendly quality to the book.

Pair this one with First Second’s upcoming (October) Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists for a graphic novel celebration of classic nursery tales!

This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Scholastic.

Snow Wildsmith About Snow Wildsmith

Snow Wildsmith is a writer and former teen librarian. She has served on several committees for the American Library Association/Young Adult Library Services Association, including the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She reviews graphic novels for Booklist, ICv2's Guide, No Flying No Tights, and Good Comics for Kids and also writes booktalks and creates recommended reading lists for Ebsco's NoveList database. Currently she is working on her first books, a nonfiction series for teens.

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