Without a consistent child's voice, this runway romp fizzles.

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BIRDIE PLAYS DRESS-UP

From the Birdie series

A young fashionista's play proves less inspired than her posh designs.

Imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery for this daughter, as Birdie plays dress-up in her mother's stylish attire. She twirls in princess dresses, adopts a movie-star identity in sunglasses and teeters in stilettos. Her little white pooch, Monster, serves as a stylish sidekick, even posing as a hat-stand for one of her mama's beautiful, two-toned accessories. Birdie's fashion-conscious mother, never viewed face-on, showcases her sense of daring design with mile-high shoes and slim, crossed legs. Though the book seems initially to be a light trip into dressing-up, Birdie's childlike exuberance veers abruptly into contrived self-awareness. “But there's nothing better than just being me!” The stylish design features splashes of paint and tissue-paper ribbons; a cutout Birdie pops in her exaggerated high heels on the fashion-forward cover. Textured accents and varied patterns highlight the finest form of fashion.

Without a consistent child's voice, this runway romp fizzles. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: April 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-316-20111-7

Page Count: 14

Publisher: LB Kids/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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THE BLOODHOUND GANG IN THE CASE OF THE CACKLING GHOST

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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THE CASE OF FLYING CLOCK

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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