________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 4 . . . . October 10, 2008

cover

The Prisoners and the Paintings. (The Salt & Pepper Chronicles; #5).

David A. Poulsen.
Toronto, ON: Key Porter Books, 2008.
173 pp., pbk., $7.95.
ISBN 978-1-55470-015-8.

Subject Headungs:
Florence (Italy) - Juvenile fiction.
Art - Juvenile fiction.
Detective and mysteries stories.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Ruth McMahon.

**½ /4

excerpt:

My brother was grinning at me as I came through the front door. That’s never a good thing. But the even weirder part was that my parents were looking at me pretty much the same way. Grinning, I mean. And it was creeping me out.

Okay, the first thing you have to understand is that my brother was put on this planet to fill my life with moments that are just about as pleasant as, say, having a root canal. Or getting a tetanus shot. Or swallowing a fly. Believe me, I know this because all of those things have happened to
me and all of them are zero fun. And the most fun thing of all is having Hal Elway Bellamy for a little brother.

At moments, one has to suspend one’s sense of logic to allow the plot line in Poulsen’s fifth installment of the “The Salt and Pepper Chronicles.” But the book, a fast and furious ride on the trail of kidnappers in the romantic setting of Italy, is bound to keep readers turning pages as Salt and Pepper once again help in solving a mystery, this time of the missing child artists.

     Previous reviewers of this series have commented on the dated references. This title also has some of those, notably the Three Stooges (know to my nine-year-old but not her peers) and other problematic references such as our young heroine’s undergoing a root canal. This title may not stand up to future generations with some of the contemporary references, but then we are still checking out Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy titles.

     Fans of this series will enjoy this new title, and it will bring new readers into the cycle.

Recommended.

Ruth McMahon is a professional children’s librarian, storyteller, co-chair of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Choice Book Award, and the mother of two elementary school aged children.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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