Detective Gordon: The First Case by Ulf Nilsson, illustrated by Gitte Spee

Published by Gecko Press


Summary:  Detective Gordon is a toad who wants nothing more than to see crime and punishment eliminated from his district so he can drink tea and eat cakes in peace.  When an agitated squirrel named Vladimir reports 204 stolen nuts from his treetop pantry, Gordon reluctantly investigates the case.  In the process, he meets Buffy, a hungry, homeless mouse, and takes her in as an apprentice police officer.  Working together, the two of them manage to crack the case, and the thieves manage to punish themselves.  Grades 1-4.

Pros:  This Swedish import charms with gentle humor and cozy illustrations.  The author (or translator) doesn’t shy away from vocabulary…the first chapter includes the words wretched, monstrous, plundering, and envious.  This would be a good choice for a precocious first or second grade reader or a read-aloud in the primary grades.

Cons:  This would definitely be a stretch reading-wise for many in the intended age group.

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