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Reviews:
An Acquaintance with Darkness by Ann Rinaldi
Animal Kisses by Barney Saltzberg
The Bunnies' Counting Book by Elizabeth B. Rogers
California Girl by T. Jefferson Parker
Daddy and Me by Neil Ricklen
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems
Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues by Donald Sobol
Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace by Donald Sobol
Encyclopedia Brown Strikes Again by Donald Sobol
The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey
The Little Green Caterpillar by Yvonne Hooker
Little Lost Puppy by Margaret Glover Otto
Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel
My Little Opposites Book by Bob Staake
Number 9 by Wallace Wadsworth
On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt
Picture Me Colors by Deborah D'Andrea and Kaycee Hoffman
Picture Me Numbers by Deborah D'Andrea and Kaycee Hoffman
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo Willems
Pokémon 2000 by Tracey West
Russell and the Lost Treasure by Rob Scotton
Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton
Slide 'N' Seek Shapes by Chuck Murphy
The Spider King by Lawrence Schoonover
The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
The Straw Men by Michael Marshall
The Tokaido Road by Lucia St Clair Robson
The Top of the World by Ethel M. Dell
Watch Me Grow Kitten by DK Books

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Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace: 12/07/06

Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace

The Encyclopedia Brown books remind me of The Tuesday Club Murders by Agatha Christie except aimed at elementary school aged readers. Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace has ten short capers (each about seven pages long). Each chapter ends with a challenge to the reader to solve the case. These mysteries are more a case of reading comprehension than actual sleuthing. The solutions to the case are often times too simplistic.

For example, one of the capers ends with a character being disqualified because he did some darkroom trickery on his photograph and therefore couldn't win the photography prize. Most photography contests have a category for composite work but the story never fully states whether or not this contest does as well. The story would have been better if it had included something about the character being in the nonfiction category where composite work or double exposures couldn't be used.

Another caper that got under my skin was the fault of the book being dated more than anything. The clue centers around Palestine and the solution given in the back of the book basically says that it can't be Palestine because it's not a real country. Palestine's unfortunate status is not the point of the clue. The fact that the other places named were cities was clue enough. Where is Palestine a city and not a country (or former country or whatever it is depending on the political situation du jour)?

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