A thief has stolen all the candy, and Frankenstein’s monster must solve the case in order to save Halloween.
In the manner of their previous Seek and Solve Mystery (Santa on the Loose, 2012), Hale and Garbot invite readers to help them figure out who is guilty of grabbing the treats. The opening spread shows portraits of the suspects with their possessions, including Vampire Bob, Joey Bones, Igor, Willy the Werewolf, Rowan the Witch and mummy Nefertiti. Readers must then try to spot Frankie in crowded cartoon settings, such as the cemetery, a haunted house, the pumpkin patch and a corn maze. Frankie’s pea green complexion matches those of witches, ghouls and various plants, making the search for him a bit of a challenge. When found, Frankie has a clue in his hand. As the objects accumulate, savvy readers will deduce who is the culprit. For younger searchers, all the items are presented on a concluding spread to help them guess who has made off with the sweets. Garbot packs the pages with silly details that many children will enjoy poring over. For those seeking a further challenge, a “Bonus Search” encourages another flip through the book.
Ultimately, this average effort fails to engage and challenge like the I Spy series, but it does offer a holiday-themed activity to do when all of the candy is eaten and the costumes are put away. (Picture book. 5-8)