Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Mystery of the Suspicious Spices by Harper Paris -- ADVISABLE

Paris, Harper The Mystery of the Suspicious Spices (Greetings from Somewhere #6), illustrated by Marcos Calo. Little Simon, 2014. $5.99. Content: G.

Ethan and Ella's world travels have taken them to Mumbai, India, where they enjoy all the exotic sights and sounds. But when they befriend a spice seller whose store seems to be under a mysterious attack, the twins' problem-solving skills come in handy.

The mystery in this one is extremely easy to solve -- not necessarily a bad thing, since those children who do so will likely feel clever when they discover their predictions were right. I'm not thrilled with the way the twins are essentially rewarded for making unsafe choices and then lying about them. Still, this is a decent addition to an otherwise very good series, so it is worth adding. While this book is the sixth installment, it stands on its own just fine, with only a few brief references to the previous tales -- enough to entice but not frustrate readers. As part of the Little Simon early chapter books collection, this story has simple language, frequent illustrations, and a large font, making it perfect for students who are just moving on from picture books and early readers.

EL (K-3) -- ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Caryn

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