Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Theorize and Categorize! The Missing Bouncy Ball by Misti Kennison


But not to worry! Detective Fox and Goat are on the case, looking for clues and zooming in on any round-ish item they spot at the park and rec center.

There's a ball! But it's a small golf ball, and it's white.

Sorry! Wrong color: their target ball is blue. The big black-and-white soccer ball is too big. The brown football is round in the middle but pointed on both ends.

The billiard ball is the right size, all right, but it lacks one characteristic they seek: it's not soft. Out on the courts, there is a tennis ball that is the right size, but it's fuzzy, not smooth. That basketball over there needs some air. It doesn't bounce at all!

This is a tough case for the two detectives. Will they fail to find the solution?

Hey, wait! What's that in that dog's mouth? Has the canine cracked the case?

Despite being out-sleuthed by a pooch, Detectives Fox and Goat take the credit, in Misti Kenniston's The Missing Bouncy Ball: A Fox and Goat Mystery (Fox and Goat Mysteries) (Schiffer Publishing, 2018). A concept book that Sherlock Holmes would love, this board book, with its highly stylized illustrations and careful categorization of the many variations of balls, will appeal to kids who like to apply reason to their calculations.

Although adults may have to explain the trope, Fox and Goat are clearly decked out as detectives, in trench coat and fedora and equipped with magnifying glass and binoculars, but author Misti Kenison pokes a little fun at their stereotypical ratiocinations: ace sleuths Fox and Goat may know what is NOT Emma's bouncy ball, but it takes Benji the Dog's nose to find the missing object. Keniston's appendix, "What Were the Clues to Find the Bouncy Ball?" includes graphics for shape, color, and size, and that quintessential quality--bounciness. This concept book offers many teaching opportunities for parents, teachers, and tots, including the idea of a process of elimination which is "elementary, my dear Watson!"

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