Wednesday, February 26, 2020

King and Kayla and the Case of the Unhappy Neighbor. (#4)

Butler, Dori Hillestad and Meyers, Nancy. King and Kayla and the Case of the Unhappy Neighbor. (#4)
March 1st 2020 by Peachtree Publishing Company
ARC provided by the publisher

King's friend Thor is in big trouble. His owner, Jillian, got a call from the grumpy Mr. Gary that Thor was in his yard and had upended garbage cans, dug through the garden, and caused all kind of havoc! Jillian's mom is helping to clean things up, and Jillian doesn't know what to do with her exuberant puppy. Of course, being a great detective, King finds out that Thor didn't create the mess. King enlists the help of other neighborhood dogs, who say there is a "new guy" around who might be responsible. The dogs and children go to the scene to investigate, and find some scat that does not belong to Thor amongst the wreckage. Thanks to a helpful neighbor and his cell phone, the humans finally realize that there is another creature responsible for the mess, and Thor is off the hook.
Strengths: This series is a tiny bit harder than I Can Read books but not as long or difficult as Magic Tree House books. The stories are easy to follow, with enough mysterious build up to encourage readers to try to puzzle out what has happened by themselves. The illustrations are bright and cheerful, and the expressions on the dogs' faces are hysterical! It's nice to see neighbors out in their yards interacting with each other. This is a great series for readers who enjoy Faruqi's Meet Yasmin!, McDonald's Judy Moody, or Calandrelli's Ada Lace books.
Weaknesses: My "quick picks" section hasn't seen a lot of use this year, which is a good thing as far as student progress goes. If I have another wave of readers who are at the lower end of the spectrum, I might pick up more in this series.
What I really think: This is a must have for elementary libraries, and the series has done well with some of my struggling middle school readers.
Ms. Yingling

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