A French bulldog named Frank goes missing, and it’s up to readers to help find him.
As the search begins, the narrator directly addresses readers to convey key facts about Frank: He loves to run but easily gets overheated; he loves playing fetch but doesn’t like to bring the ball back; and he has very stinky toots. These details set the tone for a highly interactive neighborhood romp in which readers will use each new clue they learn to help find the wayward pup. Interviews with various characters—typed out on faux sticky notes or graph paper and taped over each spread—add a forensic touch to the upbeat, mixed-media art. Other interactive details further invite participation, such as a recurring map of the neighborhood and seek-and-find pages that introduce new locations and clues. Bollman’s picture-book debut exemplifies how to incorporate dialogic reading into storytime. The open-ended questions allow readers to come to their own conclusions or to use the hints provided to guide them back and forth among pages to put the clues together. Though the neighborhood is almost cookie-cutter cutesy and Frank’s family presents white, the supporting human characters are diverse in skin tone.
A smartly structured whodunit sure to please young detectives—so long as they heed the warnings about the toots. (Picture book. 3-7)