Wednesday, March 31, 2010

5 Star REVIEW~~"PENNY & RIO: The Locked Doghouse Mystery" Author JENNIFER SWANSON


Jennifer Swanson reached for the stars and succeeded in her sequel to "PENNY & RIO: The Mysterious Backyard Meeting." She brings back the famous dog detectives, Penny & Rio, who are well-known for fighting crime, and mysteries. This delightful chapter book, packed with colorful illustrations will capture the heart of any reader, regardless of age. In this incredible adventure, the two sister dogs team up with Hobbes to help Squeaky the mouse retrieve a treasure, which is as important to Squeaky as life itself. Although Rio is up to her old, lazy tricks again, the reader will learn that her naps really don't destroy ingenious crime fighting plans for solving cases. What is needed to gain access to the abandoned doghouse would be two clever dogs, a new brave assistant, and a persistent mouse. Who digs up the yard to find an old bone, and what was hidden inside it? Will the dog detectives crack the case, and solve the mystery? Why didn't Squeaky give-up on the mission to unlock the doghouse, even though Hobbes lives in the same yard, where the padlock remains on the door? Who is the brains of this crime fighting outfit, and who has more energy than Superman? This enchanting children's book is highly recommended for ages eight, and older. It is also a great read that will interest younger children, when read to by an adult. The story is captivating, action and suspense cover the pages, while the author points out the importance of family values. For the icing on the cake, Jennifer Swanson paints each colorful page with unique characters, who are precious, and come to life. Her love for animals, especially dogs, shines through in her writing. I have read the PENNY & RIO series to several children with special needs, and the adventure was a big hit in this funny, laugh-out-loud read. The children learn about teamwork, problem solving, and perseverance through the adorabl characters, page-after-page. The short chapters hold the attention of the young child as they step into this fun read, while learning not only about how clever dogs can be, but also what friendship signifies throughout life. Does Squeaky ever get what the detectives are searching for, before the doghouse is moved to a dump, and who is Spike? Which plan works best to solve the mystery, and who came up with the idea? This dynamic adventure teaches children to follow their dreams, while demonstrating the rewards of helping others. The priceless 'Treasure' that the author created was not only found in the doghouse, but in the heart of many young readers, who considered this book a 'Treasure' in itself. "PENNY & RIO: The Locked Doghouse Mystery" is as funny as Walt Disney's CHICKEN LITTLE, and as amazing as THE POLAR EXPRESS, with Tom Hanks.

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