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Summary: A new home! Penny is anxious to explore her new place and heads outside to sniff around the yard. Rio is happy doing what Rio does best: nap! Penny may be new here, but she can tell something's wrong. Every evening, a squirrel, a cat, an owl, and a gopher would hold a secret meeting on the fence. But every time Penny came outside, they disappeared. She HAD to find a way to stop them. But how? This is a text-heavy picture book with dog detectives.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, transitional reader, learning to read, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 9; read yourself: 8 to 12
Interest Level: 6 to 10
Reading Level: 2
Age of Child: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: This book didn't really grab me. The story is okay, but just seems "flat." The illustrations, particularly Penny's crossed eyes, don't match well with the text-heavy pages.
Pros: Kids who love animal and detective stories will have fun with this book. By using an illustrated chapter book format, the author will be able to reach early elementary readers who read above grade level.
Cons: Although the book describes this as a case for two pet detectives, Rio is so disconnected that he doesn't really seem to have a role at all.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Antsy Pre-readers aren't likely to sit through more than a chapter at a time. But fourth graders (the reading level is 4.5) could think it is too simplistic.