Wednesday and Woof #1: Catastrophe

Wednesday and Woof #1: Catastrophe
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
April 05, 2022
Buy This Book
Can Wednesday and her service dog, Woof, sniff out Mrs. Winter’s missing cat before her big trip? This is the first book of a fun full-color early chapter book series about the best detectives in the Midwest!

Detective Tip #1 Try not to jump to conclusions. Wednesday and her service dog, Woof, are the best detectives in the whole world—or at least their neighborhood. But can they find Mrs. Winters’s missing cat before her big trip? Or will the case of the cat-napped kitty be their first unsolved mystery?

HarperChapters build confident readers one chapter at a time! With short, fast-paced books, art on every page, and milestone markers at the end of every chapter, they're the perfect next step for fans of I Can Read!

Editor review

1 review
There's a new detective dog in town!
(Updated: December 07, 2021)
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Walia Nadir and her dog Woof have formed the Wednesday Detective Society, spurred on by her admiration of her Aunt Nalia, who is a detective in their Michigan town. Woof is Walia's assistance dog and helps her navigate the world with Juvenile Arthritis. This doesn't slow Walia down much, but her parents are often concerned that she is overdoing it and not getting enough rest. When Mrs. Winter's cat, Autumn, goes missing, the two are on the case. It's not easy to solve, but they gather clues, deal with the obnoxious bully Anita, skateboarding boys, and eventually are able to save the day. What will their next adventure be?
Good Points
Walia is a fun character who provides us with a great deal of information about her condition, but this is delivered in support of the plot instead of in info dumps. I can't think of another book character who faces the same medical challenge. Her friend Belinda, her supportive parents, and her grandfather all give her help and good advice. I wasn't as big a fan of the nasty Anita, who made fun of Walia's need for a support animal.

There's a good mix of pleasant illustrations (which will be in full color in the final edition) and a comfortable amount of text, making this a great choice for strong first grade readers, but with enough engaging details to delight older elementary school students as well. There are a few supplemental activities at the back of the book.

Fans of Winston's own Jada Sly, Butler's fun Kayla and King, Sobol's classic Encyclopedia Brown, and the various younger permutations of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys will enjoy this beginning reader neighborhood mystery series. The next book, New Pup on the Block, will be published in April, 2022.
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