From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5-Harvey and his tall-tale telling cousin Nora are at it again. When a shadowy figure shoots at something climbing in a tree outside Harvey's open window, the branch crashes into his room and allows a raccoon clutching a counterfeiter's plate to enter. Nora immediately "adopts" the animal, dubbing him Buttons. Through a series of mistakes on the criminals' part, Harvey determines that two seemingly harmless neighbors are the counterfeiters. They slip through the always-on-the-ball chief of police's fingers, but he assures Harvey that their bumblings will betray them in the end. The narrator is a flesh-and-blood boy; readers will easily understand his feelings and fears. The other characters' complexities and foibles are made clear through his observations and comments. A lively page-turner that draws readers into the action and won't disappoint them.Christina Dorr, Calcium Primary School, NY
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3-5. Annoying cousin Nora is visiting Harvey again, and this time the two discover a prowler, who fires a gun into Harvey's bedroom. Who, they wonder, shoots at kids, and why? When the bullets break the window, and a tree branch with a raccoon grasping a counterfeit old-fashioned printer's plate falls into the room, Nora and Harvey begin to see the outlines of the crime. Harvey's parents, neighbors, and the police chief all try to solve the mystery, but it is the two youngsters who wind up facing the culprits alone, under dangerous circumstances. Clifford once again weaves a tight plot, dropping clues along the way, with cliff-hanger chapter endings to propel readers along. The love-hate relationship between Harvey and Nora is the stuff that kids readily relate to. Some of the characters, such as Harvey's father, seem stereotypical; but that probably won't bother Clifford's fans or mystery readers, who will find this satisfying entertainment. Deborah Abbott