Saturday, March 14, 2020

Saturday Morning Cartoons- Rory Branagan

Clover, Andrew and Lazar, Ralph (illus.) Rory Branagan: Detective
March 22nd 2018 by HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks
Copy provided by the publisher

Rory's father disappeared suddenly, with no explanation ever forthcoming from anyone in his family. He has a good friend, Corner Boy Gilligan, whose father breeds guinea pigs, and his older brother, while annoying, is helpful. There is also Auntie Jo, who is renting the family's attic and working at the Deadly Pirate restaurant and Wilkins Welkin, a neighbor's dachshund and Rory's best friend. When a new family moves in next door, Rory meets Cassidy, who is his age, very bold, and also very attractive. When he tells her about his father's disappearance, she encourages him to become a detective and investigate. Of course, she goes about this in a rather ill thought out way, going through the bedrooms of Rory's family and getting him in trouble. When Corner Boy's father is poisoned by take out from the Deadly Pirate, the two start to investigate in earnest and come up with some alarming and dangerous findings. Will the two be able to solve the mystery and yet stay safe? Perhaps we will find out in book two, The Dog Squad.
Strengths: This is a notebook novel that also has a mystery, sort of like The Platypus Police Squad. Rory has a lot of crazy ideas, but some of them are actually helpful. This was funny (despite the missing father), and had a lot of non sequiturs, like a tap dancing unicorn and a guinea pig Olympics. The text is large, the illustrations plentiful, and the story fast paced, and there is an ACTUAL PLOT. The evil villains actually are pretty evil, which gains this extra bonus points.
Weaknesses: Really? Elderly lady Mrs. Welkin is nice enough to loan Rory her dog, but she is drawn with chin whiskers? Just... unnecessary.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing to use as Wimpy Kid methadone, and just wish that all four books were available in the US.

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