Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Are you a dog or a mouse?

Kayla and King are having a good time playing with Thor and Jillian, throwing King's blue ball back and forth. When it goes into a neighbor's yard, the girls go over to retrieve a ball, but the one they bring back is NOT King's. He can't make them understand, so he goes looking for the ball himself, only to be told by a cat under the porch that a mouse took it. This seems very strange to King, but he continues to look around. Mouse turns out to be someone very different that the creature King is expecting, but leads to King and Thor making a new friend.

Good Points

King and Kayla is a great beginning reader series. King tries very hard to make Kayla understand what he is thinking, but she never does. Each story (Case of the Missing Dog Treats and Case of the Secret Code, Case of the Lost Tooth expected March 1, 2018.) involves a small mystery that King has to work through. Each mystery is simple enough that readers can figure it out with a little help. I have fond memories of reading the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries with my mother and working with her to figure out how to solve each one before checking the answer at the back of the book. These books would be good for that activity.

The artwork is simple and clean, and the dog's faces are particularly expressive. This helps a lot when Kayla isn't sure what King is thinking-- we know, because we can see the answer right in the dog's eyes! It's good to see Kayla on the front cover; there's no particular reason for her to be African-American, but there's no reason for her NOT to be, either. There aren't a huge number of early chapter books with children from a variety of cultural backgrounds, but there are a few.

Readers who enjoyed Warner's Absolutely Alfie, Draper's Sassy, English's Nikki and Deja and Mills' Izzy Barr will be delighted with the antics of Kayla and her adorable pet.
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