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Leon Chameleon PI and the case of the missing canary eggs Kindle Edition
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|Length: 66 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 7 - 12||Grade Level: 2 - 5|
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My only minor complaint is the price, which I assume is due to the book being printed in color. But most of the illustrations are black and white, and I think even the color ones would have looked good in graytone. In the end, suspect the book could sell for a third of the price if it weren't printed in color.
That minor quibble aside, I'd recommend Leon Chameleon to adults and children alike. The biggest question is --- which of my friends and family should I lend it to first?
The rest of this review appears at Ian Wood's Novellum.
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.
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!