Mysterious Brown Scraggly Dog Appears
Twins Davey and Derek notice a brown scraggly dog with a bloody paw and wonder what’s going on. After a lengthy investigation, assisted by their elderly aunt, and a bit of magic, they discover the answer to the dog’s telling foot. Even magic couldn’t tell them whether or not they solved the puzzle soon enough to save a life.
“The twins rushed over to Great Aunt Gigi’s house to continue honing their magical skills under her expert tutelage. They had so far learned one magic trick just before they completed their third case with the magical ivory elephant named Tamba. Today Aunt Gigi had promised to begin training them with their wands to perform other simple incantations.”
Authors have a purpose or an agenda in writing their novels that make them unique. Janice Spina wanted to create children’s novels that would intrigue, but not scare young children.
“I try to make them gentle without anything that would frighten young children. My themes deal in life lessons and teaching young children how to be polite, kind and sensitive to others’ feelings. I want children to know that it is okay to be different. It is extremely important that all children feel safe and loved in their homes and in their lives.”
Davey and Derek retain their polite and obedient behavior throughout the book. Adults are loving and kind as well. The twins only fudge at the truth a bit on occasions to keep their mother from worrying about them, but in the end, they share all and come clean.
The Case of the Brown Scraggly Dog would make a good read-aloud for preschool to first graders although it is not a picture book. Children can handle hearing about one to two grade levels above what they can read independently. The themes of good behavior mixed with a sense of mystery and love of animals fit the interest levels of this age group. Derek and Davey learn to ask permission and not forgiveness, which mothers and teachers love. Most children in grades 3-5 can read the 121-page book independently.
Amazon rates the book for Young Adults, Middle Grades, and Pre-teens. As a former fourth grade teacher, I think this book would work with middle-grade students. However, I think young adults would find the adventures of Davey and Derek too mild.
*I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it.
Other Books by Janice Spina
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