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

cover Lost and Found. (Kids Can Read).

Adrienne Mason. Illustrated by Pat Cupples.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $5.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55453-252-0 (pbk.),
ISBN 1-55453-251-3 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Sound-Juvenile fiction.
Dogs-Juvenile fiction.
Detective and mystery stories.

Kindergarten-Grade 2 / Ages 5-7.

Review by Shannon Ozirny.

*** /4

excerpt:

Thunder crashed and lightning flashed.
The wind blew,
and the rain kept pouring down.
Puddles became ponds.
"Sophie!" called Lu.
"Sophie!" called Clancy.
There was no answer.
Where could Sophie be?


Lost and Found tells the tale of two dog detectives, Lu and Clancy, who must leave mysteries and magnifying glasses behind for a day of puppysitting…or so they think. When one of their young charges goes missing, Lu and Clancy must put their case-solving skills to the test.

     Lost and Found was originally published as a combined narrative/activity book entitled Sound Off, which was not explicitly aimed at newly independent readers and which interspersed simple facts on the science of sound with story, and easy-to-do activities. Unfortunately, the narrative from Sound Off has made a somewhat bumpy transition into the easy reader genre.

     Lost and Found  lacks the suspense needed to propel a five to seven-year-old through an independent read. The title, in addition to the doggy detective protagonists, suggests that the story will revolve around solving a case. The big mystery ends up being one of the young pups' disappearance, but she is lost and found with little fanfare. The whole canine crew then gets lost in a rainstorm, and is ambiguously found when "someone come[s] to rescue them." Instead of the dogs’ recovering a lost pup or being involved in an exciting rainstorm rescue, the focus in the end of Lost and Found shifts to some loud homemade instruments that the dogs build to attract some unnamed, unseen rescuers.

     Although Lost and Found may not be the ideal independent read, it could certainly excite as an accompaniment to a Kindergarten/Grade 1 unit on music or a home craft session. The "Toot on a Flute" activity at the end of the story shows children how to make a simple instrument out of straws, and teachers and caregivers could easily extend the activities to include other kinds of homemade instruments (of the macaroni drum and lentil maraca variety).

     Lost and Found will be most appreciated in conjunction with a musical craft. It seems that Kids Can Press was spot on when they originally integrated this story into a science/activity book. In its new easy reader form, Lost and Found requires some supplementary material to hit a perfect note.

Recommended.

Shannon Ozirny has a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature from UBC and works as the Book Camp Coordinator for the Vancouver Public Library.

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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