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Nate the Great Detective Debut
on September 26, 2002
NATE THE GREAT is the first book in a wonderful series that introduces young readers to the world of mysteries, clues, and pancakes that is Nate the Great. Shortly after a big breakfast of pancakes, Nate is contacted by his friend Annie. She has a mystery for him. The picture, painted in yellow, she did of her dog Fang is missing. She wants Nate to find the picture for her. Nate leaves a note for his mother and is in hot pursuit of the clues that will let him know where the missing picture is. During the course of his investigation, Nate meets Rosamond and her four cats-Super Hex, Big Hex, Little Hex, and Plain Hex, and Annie's little brother Harry. One of them holds the secret of where the missing picture is.
Marjorie Weinman Sharmat is the author of over twenty Nate the Great adventures, including NATE THE GREAT STALKS STUPIDWEED, NATE THE GREAT AND THE BORING BEACH BAG, NATE THE GREAT AND THE HALLOWEEN HUNT, and NATE THE GREAT AND THE MUSHY VALENTINE. She has written dozens of books for young readers. She named Nate the Great after her father. Her books have been named as Children's Choice books and Junior Literary Guild selections, and been picked as Books of the Year by the Library of Congress. Nate the Great was named after the author's father.
As in every Nate the Great book she writes, Marjorie Sharmat plays fairly with young readers (ages 4-8) regarding the mystery and the clues. Her prose is tight, clean, and concise. Reading aloud to younger readers is an absolute hoot, and if the reader can manage the tough-guy private eye voice of a Mickey Spillane novel, the effect on young readers is even more mesmerizing. The illustrations by Marc Simont-the long-time artist of the Nate the Great series-complements the story very well, lending humor, clues, and vibrant color for young eyes. NATE THE GREAT is the perfect place to join the series because this book sets up all of Nate's world, from the frantic call by friends that have lost something, to the note Nate always leaves his mom on the refrigerator explaining his whereabouts, to the regulars that make up Nate's world.
The entire Nate the Great series is recommended to younger readers and parents who love reading to their children that might have tired of (or memorized!) all of the rhyming Dr. Seuss books. This series makes a great transition to leap from to Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys later.