Adler, David A. Bones and the Big Yellow Mystery. Illustrated by Barbara Johansen Newman. Puffin Books, 2004. 32 pages. $13.99. ISBN 9780142410424.
Jeffrey Bones finds clues and solves mysteries. In this first entry in the Bones series, our sleuth, armed with his detective backpack, heads to the mall for a shopping trip with his grandpa. While at the mall, Bones is on the lookout for clues. He finds a sweet-looking puppy in the window of the pet store and names him Curly. He wishes he could take Curly home, but his parents have told him that he is too young. Soon, a real mystery emerges: Bones’ bus driver, Mr. Green, has lost his bus! The clues are: “Big, Yellow, and Wheels.” Bones helps Mr. Green retrace his steps through the stops he made in the mall and something clicks in Bones’ mind. Mr. Green came in through a different door in the mall than the one he tried to leave by, a common enough problem at the mall! The final chapter features a curly surprise for Bones from Grandpa.
This title fits in nicely with a study of mysteries for first or second graders. We have a sleuth, a mystery to be solved, we have clues, and we have a solution to the mystery (with a surprise ending). Bones comes up with a clever solution to the mystery of Mr. Green’s missing bus. The tone is upbeat and fun.
Bones is clever and ready to solve a mystery, even if it means he’s looking at fingerprints on the door to the mall! The illustrations here are bright, cheerful, and Bones is a delightfully freckle-faced boy.
The Happy Birthday Mystery (Nixon) and the Young Cam Jansen (Adler) books are both good bets for early readers with a mystery theme.