Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Today's read... The Case of the Missing Bicycles by Milo Stone, Shawn Martinbrough, and Joseph P Illidge

Judge Kim and the Kids' Court
Ready-to-Read Graphics, Level 3
by Milo Stone, Shawn Martinbrough, and Joseph P. Illidge
Illustrated by Christopher Jordan
Simon Spotlight
Chapter Book / Graphic Novel
64 pages
ages 6 to 8

The treehouse court is now in session in this first book in the Judge Kim and the Kids’ Court Level 3 Ready-to-Read Graphics series about a young judge who presides over conflict of all sizes in her neighborhood!

When bicycles go missing at Fairville Elementary School, it’s up to Kim Webster to settle the case. Up in her treehouse court, Judge Kim listens to witnesses and evidence gathered by her friends before determining what’s fair and what’s not. Will Judge Kim be able to restore peace to her neighborhood?

Ready-to-Read Graphics books give readers the perfect introduction to the graphic novel format with easy-to-follow panels, speech bubbles with accessible vocabulary, and sequential storytelling that is spot-on for beginning readers. There’s even a how-to guide for reading graphic novels at the beginning of each book.



The truth and justice rank high with this fun judge and her friends.

Kim isn't sure what to do. At school, the bicycles are disappearing and no one knows who's stealing them. After visiting a court case with her mother, Kim knows what has to be done. After collecting clues, though, the case still isn't clear. So, it's time for Kim to put on a judge's robe and make sure the culprit is truly caught and no one is falsely accused.

This is a bright graphic novel, well written for beginner readers. The characters are enjoyable and easy to follow. The word choice is just right to edge readers along in their skills without bogging down in difficulty, and the scenes flow nicely. Of course, the graphics are very well done and fun to flip through all on their own. 

This book starts out with a presentation of the main characters, which I found cute and a great way to begin the tale, since it does bring a bit of familiarity when the story begins. Then, there's a section on how to read a graphic novel, which wasn't my thing, but that could just be me. From there it glides over a new tree house (which holds importance later), and then the mystery. This is very well laid, and the clues will keep readers guessing. I was surprised that none of the adults cared that the bikes went missing, since this would, realistically, be a large problem...especially when all bikes but one go missing. But aside from that the mystery ran very smoothly, draws in, makes some great points not only on how to collect clues but also on not drawing conclusions too quickly. There is an interesting twist at the end, which rounded off everything in a positive manner.

I did enjoy the tale and believe young readers will get quite a bit from it. Judge Kim will no doubt have many more cases to solve, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the next tales lead.

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