These babies are too posh for their own good.

In this smug review of daily life in the Big Apple, including its tourist attractions, the developmental mark is missed entirely. A little girl holds her mother's hand as they stroll through the art museum: “We say MoMA when we really mean Mama.” Less obscurely, a four-panel spread depicts a babe in stroller through changing seasons; the snow piles high and a scarf covers the child's face during the blustery winter. The food-cart experience is represented by a bagel, pizza and pretzel, glossed with a gush: “And we have fun learning our shapes!” In a nod to the city's diversity, youngsters greet each other in a host of languages. Busy pops of bold colors emphasize the hustle and bustle. A darkened cityscape seems to promise rest, but one cry ("Waaaa!") lights up the sky. “New York is the city that never sleeps, but New York babies do…sometimes.” Two concluding pages of suggested parent-child activities overwhelm in their attempt to educate.

Pretentious. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9838121-4-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Duo Press

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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Two one-dimensional detection cases of the sort that seem to be proliferating. These feature the Bloodhound Gang of TV's 3-2-1 Contact. In The Case of the Cackling Ghost, Professor Bloodhound's three young employees—ages 10, 15, and 16—are summoned to a large country house, where an old woman is bothered by nightly visits from a ghost. The ghost, the trio soon discovers, is really clumps of moths attracted by pheromones—an illusion cooked up by the woman's debt-ridden nephew who hopes to frighten her into turning over her precious, but reputedly curse-ridden necklace. In . . . Princess Tomrorow, the gang is called as witnesses for a shady couple who pretend to predict horse-race results—but the corroborating letter received by the agency has actually been mailed after the race. The one they witnessed being mailed before the race has been invalidated by a wet but deliberately glueless postage stamp. They're both clever tricks, but of a sort that usually come five or ten to a volume. There's no attempt to flesh out the puzzles, and not a trace of the Fleischman wit and vigor.

Pub Date: April 1, 1981

ISBN: 0394946731

Page Count: 63

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1981

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These latest adventures of the Bloodhound Gang (from public TV's 3-2-1 Contact) have a little more zip than the dismally perfunctory lust two (p. 800, J-186), but there is still little evidence of the Fleischman wit, inventiveness, and high spirits. And of course the idea of three kids investigating for an insurance company is too far-fetched for any nine-year-old's reality meter. But that's the situation in The Case of the Flying Clock, when Vikki, Ricardo, and Zach check out the theft of a snobbish horologist's flying pendulum clock. "Once belonged to Louis," says pompous Mr. Keefe—Louis XVI, that is. But because they know that steam will fog a mirror and salty water makes objects more buoyant, the Gang deduces that Mr. Keefe did not see a red-haired robber, as he claimed, but instead dumped his plastic-wrapped clock in his wishing-well pending future removal. The Case of the Secret Message brings the Bloodhounds up against a purse snatcher, a smuggler called Mr. Big, his bodyguard Muscles, and a little old lady who seems first a victim, then a cohort, and at last reveals herself as a young policewoman. Perhaps the point of the series is that the TV tie-in will lead habitual viewers to print. In any case, these belong with the merchandise mysteries.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1981

ISBN: 0394847652

Page Count: 68

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1981

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