Friday, November 25, 2022

Today's read... The Patrick Picklebottom Everyday Mysteries by Mr. Jay

 Today's read would have been one I would have definitely snatched up as a kid, and my own son was curious too. I only had the chance to read one of the ten mysteries in this book, but I was still curious to see how to flowed (and if it was as good as I'd hoped it'd be).

Patrick Picklebottom isn't new to the book world but has several titles already in print. I have not read any of them before, so this sleuth was new to me. This book is a collection of ten mysteries (with answers at the end of the read) and is the first in a new series surrounding Patrick. This one comes out March 1st, so there is a bit of a wait.

Everyday Mysteries, Book 1
The Case of the Brazilian Vase
by Mr. Jay
Illustrated by Erin Wozniak
New Paige Press
Middle Grade Mystery
128 pages
ages 8 to 12

MARCH 1st, 2023!!!

Patrick is back! Can YOU help him solve 10 different mysteries?

Patrick Picklebottom has a knack for critical thinking. So it's not too surprising that he and his best friend, Claire, keep coming across everyday mysteries. In school, at the local ice cream shop, during a history fair - even in his own house - Patrick constantly comes across new cases to crack.

In the great tradition of the classic Encyclopedia Brown books by Donald J. Sobol, The Patrick Picklebottom Everyday Mysteries takes the beloved picture book character into a completely new direction with an interactive book for early readers.

Join Patrick and his friends in 10 short stories where YOU help solve the mysteries. Can you figure out the solutions based on the clues provided? Think carefully before checking the answers in the back!


While the mysteries are relatively short and sweet, they push the thinking-gears and let the reader become a sleuth.

Patrick Picklebottom is a pretty normal middle schooler, who has a knack for noticing the details. He doesn't search for mysteries; they find him. In this first book of the series, Patrick runs into ten different situations, where he discovers something isn't what it appears to be or not quite right. At the end of the book, the solutions are offered so young sleuths can make sure they solved each case correctly. 

I only had the opportunity to read one of the ten cases, 'The History Fair', but it was enough to win me over to want to read the rest of the tales, too. In this one, Patrick and his friend are at a history fair with their own presentation table...which isn't getting as much attention as it should. When one of the other presenting kids pokes fun at Patrick's work, he decides to take a look at that kid's presentation and see why everyone seems drawn to it. And that's where the mystery begins.

The writing is very smooth and easy to read. The dialogue flows naturally, and it's easy to like Patrick and his friend. Their reactions were understandable and completely down-to-earth, which kept drama at bay. Instead, the author swings into the mystery effortlessly. In this one, the case was very appropriate for the intended age group (no murders or darker material).  So, I'll assume the others are, too. It does require a bit of thinking and contemplating to reach the solution, making these not extremely easy to solve. Still, it wasn't impossible to figure things out, either, and fits the age level nicely. 

The illustrations are spot on and bring each scene to life, while the text still holds the hints and clues needed to solve the situation. These added a little lightness to the atmosphere and make the entire tale more approachable.

I'm going to keep my eye on this one and am considering picking up the entire thing, when release date rolls around.

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