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The Case of the Stolen Pumpkins

by Leslie Tryon & illustrated by Leslie Tryon

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-689-81136-5
Publisher: Atheneum

When 18 pumpkins go missing from Patsy Pig’s Pleasant Valley Pumpkin Patch, it is up to detectives Miss Maple, Shamrock Homes, Sam Slade, and Chief Inspector Albert—a pig, a monkey, a raccoon, and a duck, respectively—to find the wayward squash, in this entertaining mystery from Tryon (Albert’s Ballgame, 1996, etc.). A note at the scene of the crime sends the good guys on a nocturnal treasure hunt, to the library, the playground, a lightning-blasted tree, and a ratty custodian’s storeroom; every time they find a pumpkin and a note. On each of the notes a couple of words or numbers are outlined, as if they were pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When the puzzle pieces are assembled by the detectives, readers (who don’t have to carve up their copies to get the final clue) are led back through the book to find all the pumpkins—in plain sight, but cunningly absorbed into the background. The story itself is forgettable, but who can pass up a treasure hunt? Few readers will. (Picture book. 5-8)