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Detective Small and the Amazing Banana Caper: 02/10/10
Detective Small in the Amazing Banana Caper by Wong Herbert Yee was one of pile of books my children picked out from the library. They were going through a run of watching and reading Curious George and picked it out for something else involving an ape.
In the picture book someone has stolen all the bananas. Detective Small is hired to find the thief. He must follow the clues to solve the mystery. Children can follow them too as they are provided in the illustrations.
For adults, there are many visual gags included along with the clues in the illustrations. For instance in the police line up you'll find The Man in the Yellow Hat. Later there's a King Kong parody among many others. For me the best part was the complexity of the mystery. It's not a straight-forward who done it and the detective has to "follow the evidence" as the say in C.S.I.
In the end though, I enjoyed the book more than my children did. They didn't get most of the visual gags and didn't want to sit through me explaining all of them. Without the visual humor the book is just a complex mystery and that alone didn't hold their attention.