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The Case of the Greedy Granny

by George McClements & illustrated by George McClements

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: July 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7868-0662-1
Publisher: Hyperion

An extraordinarily obtuse detective is called upon to solve a mystery: why is Red R. Hood’s Granny shedding? A series of “snapshots” paper-clipped to pastel yellow scrapbook pages provides the illustrations as Jake Gander hauls Granny in and then, in deadpan text, submits her to an investigation. Jake (always pictured in black-and-white) and Red are cartoon-like, in that pseudo-retro fashion so popular in animation these days. The furry Granny, squeezed into a frilly purple nightie and cap, is amusingly huge, ugly, and hairy. Detective Gander frowns and strokes his lantern jaw as he examines Granny’s ears against an ear comparison chart, her eyes against the standard-issue granny glasses, and her teeth against dental X-rays, until Red provides the solution (with the help of a reference book): “Our phony Granny was none other than . . . Harry A. Wolf! (a.k.a. Big Bad).” The whole conceit begs comparison to last year’s zany Palatini/Egielski romp, The Web Files, after which this is a pretty pallid offering. Readers sophisticated enough to understand the play against the familiar tale will be bored; younger kids will simply be baffled. An extra. (Picture book. 3-7)