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Leon Chameleon PI and the case of the missing canary eggs [Kindle Edition]

Jan Hurst-Nicholson , Barbara McGuire
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Selected as one of Bookchat Magazine's 1993 South African Books of the Year.

When Mrs Canary’s eggs mysteriously disappear, a frantic Mr Canary dashes straight off to the Pigeon Valley Police for help. Unfortunately, Sergeant Loerie and Constable Mole’s hasty attempts to make an arrest lead them to the wrong suspects. Leon Chameleon PI, who has quietly kept an eye on developments, decides it is time to step in and offer his services – after all, isn’t he the best Private Eye in Pigeon Valley? He puts all his skills to work and finds vital clues which Loerie had overlooked. Now a daring plan is needed to trap the suspects and bring them before Spotted Eagle Owl’s Court, where Leon springs his final surprise…

Janet Hurst-Nicholson draws on the habits and characteristics of the small creatures living in Pigeon Valley, Durban, to create a thrilling detective story. Barbara McGuire’s illustrations capture the story’s humour, while portraying the animals as they really are.

A humorous, animal detective story for 7 – 12 year-olds, and great fun for parents to read to younger children.

Editorial Reviews


"This is a charming story, filled with interesting facts about animals, birds, insects and the little creatures that live in Pigeon Valley. Eight to 10-year-olds will particularly enjoy the book." - Sunday Times Magazine.
"This book should delight and enthrall all children aged between eight and 10." - Natal Mercury Woman's Weekly.
"Entertaining, often amusing, and written in a readable, chatty style. The story works on both the detective and the animal levels." - Artes Natales.
"The illustrations capture the humour without reducing the animals to Disney-type cartoons. There's no doubt that tales of fiction like this can stimulate interest in wild-life for the young and I'm happy to recommend Leon Chameleon PI to young readers." - Talking of Nature, Radio South Africa.
"Admirably, all the animal details (of food, habits, lifestyle) are true to life - apart from Mole's dark glasses! Children reading this will absorb much knowledge of our local wildlife." - Jay Heale, Bookchat.
"It teaches you about animals and their habits in a way that is fun. The author makes the book exciting and interesting by bringing the animals to life." Book review, Tarryn (aged 10 years) Manor Gardens School.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2010 KB
  • Print Length: 66 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Gecko Books; 1 edition (August 18, 1993)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007X5T2FE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,263,796 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leon is my favorite chameleon!!!! August 28, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I became a huge Leon Chameleon fan as I read Leon Chameleon P.I. and the Case of the Kidnapped Mouse, so Jan sent along the Case of the Missing Canary Eggs for me to try. My six-year-old and I read this one together a chapter at a time, which is always a fun thing for us to do (I LOVE reading with my kiddos!). Every day he would remind me we had to read our next chapter of Leon!

In the Case of the Missing Canary Eggs, the reader gets to see where it all began. Mr. and Mrs. Canary's eggs have mysteriously disappeared, and, in their haste, the Pigeon Valley Police is after the wrong suspects. Leon Chameleon steps in and offers his services, finding significant clues that were previously overlooked. Leon must lead a daring plan to rescue the eggs and trap the real culprits before it is too late.

While I think more of Leon's personality showed in the Kidnapped Mouse, he is definitely still a truly likeable chameleon! He starts out more on the sidelines, using his unique abilities to observe the action and step in at precisely the correct moment. Of course, his Uncle Leonardo is an ever-present inspiration, and, ultimately, it is his influence that leads Leon to the conclusion of the case.

Again, I love the diversity of the different characters. The illustrations are beautiful and really helped my son make more sense of the story. I also still appreciate that the writing is not over-simplified, so it helps to expand my son's vocabulary and is still appropriately entertaining for adults.

I think my favorite part of this story was when Leon goes in to lure one of the suspects away from the eggs. I can't describe the scene without spoiling the story, so you'll definitely have to check it out to find out for yourself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good story January 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked it a lot. I was surprised that it was that good. It had a lot of characteristics that I can relate to. I think that people will likely be inspired to do the right thing because your sin will find you out and you will regret that you didn't do the right thing when you are caught later.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great chapter book March 12, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Love Leon. Amazing book. This would be a great book for the kids that love to read or be read too. I can't wait to read more of Leon's adventures.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Educational Children’s Book April 10, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
LEON CHAMELEON P.I. AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING CANARY EGGS by Jan Hurst-Nicholson is a delightful children’s chapter book. It’s filled with interesting characters and fascinating details about real-world animals, their habitats and behaviors.

The main character, Leon Chameleon, is cool, calm and collected. He never panics or rushes to judgment. As a private investigator, he observes a crime scene very carefully to discover clues. In this particular book in the series, the crime being investigated involves Mrs. Canary’s three missing eggs.

The descriptions in this book are wonderful. While remaining true to their animal counterparts in the real world, the characters are delightfully and humorously portrayed. For example, a chameleon is the perfect animal to play the role of private investigator in this series. The following passage describes this quite well: “...Leon peered down, looking for the source of the commotion. His eyes, which sat on the end of bulging conical turrets, swivelled like searchlights. He could look backwards with one eye and forwards with the other, both at the same time. That was why he was so good at finding things. He was the best private eye in Pigeon Valley.”

Another animal perfectly suited to its role in the book is Constable Mole who helps Leon Chameleon with the investigation. This quote about him is perfect: “Mole worked underground. He did wonderful work, but it was always a problem finding him.”

The author’s extensive knowledge of animals and her tremendous skill at weaving that information into an entertaining book for children is impressive. This is a book that both children and adults can enjoy reading together.
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More About the Author

Jan Hurst-Nicholson has been reliably informed that website biographies are usually written in the third person, giving them the air of being penned by an authoritative third party (allowing the author carte-blanche to embellish without the restraints of false modesty).

Hurst-Nicholson is the author of several published books, both children's and adult, and of numerous articles, humorous articles and short stories (some of which have won awards - modest cough and pause for applause), plus an occasional dip into poetry.

While volunteering in a charity bookshop, customers often asked for 'something to read on the plane,' so she put together a compilation of her published stories and articles, added some other fun stuff and titled the book 'Something to Read on the Plane.' Three of the short stories are chapters adapted from her novel But Can You Drink The Water? which was a semi-finalist in the 2010 ABNA contest (top 50 out of 5000 entries).

Personal awards: Voted 'humorist of the year' by the immediate family, and 'chuckle-maker of the day' by a customer perusing "Something to Read on the Plane' in a check-out queue.

Hurst-Nicholson was born in the UK but now lives in South Africa with two dogs that are forever on the wrong side of the door, one elderly cat, and the occasional visiting troop of boisterous vervet monkeys.

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