Review Blog

Aug 27 2013

The Missing Mongoose by Ursula Dubosarsky

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Ill. by Terry Denton. The Cryptic Casebook of Coco Carlomagno (and Alberta), Book 3, Allen & Unwin, 2013. ISBN: 9781743312605.
Highly recommended read for confident readers from 6-8 years. Themes: Guinea Pigs, Adventure and Adventurers, Zoos, Puzzles, Police, Mongooses, Zoos, Lost and Found, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Que raro! How strange, a rare and valuable mongoose has been stolen from the Buenos Aires Zoo and the zoo keepers are panicking! There are camels conversing with the giraffe in Kangaroo Korner, rabbits residing in the Tiger Taj Mahal and the hippos are sunning themselves in the Panda Place Pool. The lion is on the loose and the new leopard kittens have disappeared. Coco Carlomagno Chief of Police in Buenos Aires, Argentina needs the help of his brainy cousin Alberta to solve the puzzling problems at the zoo. Working together these crime-solving guinea pigs use their deductive powers to solve the animals' disappearances. Coco's flamboyant character often adds an exclamation in Spanish to emphasise his feelings. There's a helpful glossary at the end of the book.
This is the third amusing junior novel in The Cryptic Casebook of Coco Carlomagno (and Alberta) series by Ursula Dubosarsky. Her characters are colourful and her descriptions of the animals' homes alliterative fun. She draws young reader in to the story with the addition of anagrams, puzzles and a maze. Terry Denton's quirky sketches add to the enjoyment, Coco Carlomagno comes to life, with his dashing police uniform and waxed moustache.
Rhyllis Bignell

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