Marty Frye is a private eye who solves the crimes while speaking in rhyme in a reissue of a 1998 effort.
Marty solves three mysteries in this very brief chapter book that’s just as much a cleverly concealed early reader. First, Marty helps Emma find her missing diary, which disappeared just after their teacher turned on a movie for the class to watch. By interviewing (in rhyme) his classmates and examining the scene of the crime, Marty deduces what might have happened to Emma’s book. Next, he helps the man who runs the local toy store find a missing box of action figures. Finally, he helps his little sister locate a misplaced bag of flour. These very short, high-interest episodes are presented in bold, large-print type on pages that are rich with numerous amusing, cartoonlike illustrations. Marty is depicted as white in the cover art. Almost none of the other characters are described, but most of them also seem white in the illustrations. The cadence of Marty’s rhyming dialogue is somewhat infectious, and it has the added benefit of helping young readers tackle unfamiliar (but rhyming) words. Although character development is minimal in this plot-driven tale, the mysteries are satisfyingly simple enough to figure out just before Marty pulls them together.
A fun and bouncy young kids’ book that’s sure to appeal with its big kids’ look. (Fiction. 5-8)