Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Author and Illustrator
Simon & Schuster, Fiction, May 12, 2015
Suitable for Ages: 4-7
Themes: Books and reading, Lost and found possessions, Squirrels
Opening: “Spencer loved books. His favorite bedtime book was Night-Night, Narwhal. Sometimes he read it aloud. Every night, Spencer put the book back where it belonged. That way he’d always be able to find it.”
Synopsis: Spencer’s beloved books are disappearing. Each night he reads a book and places it on the shelf and in the morning his book is missing. In each empty space, he finds a tulip petal, screw or different object. He suspects his sister, but she isn’t the thief. He must find the culprit before his book shelves are empty. Spencer devises a plan. When he solves the mystery, he comes up with a great idea that will satisfy readers.
Why I like this book:
- The cover of shaggy-haired Spencer is so appealing that children will snatch it off the shelf. Debbie Ridpath Ohi has hit a home run with this realistic and highly entertaining story.
- The simple and precise narrative is a perfect springboard for the delightfully bold and colorful illustrations. Readers will love the detail, especially Spencer’s red Narwhal pajamas and stuffed animal.
- Spencer’s memorable character is artfully crafted. He’s likable and persistent. Children will easily identify with Spencer and see themselves in similar situations like missing books and toys, accusing siblings of taking prized possessions, solving problems.
- When Spencer traps the real culprits, readers hearts will melt at his discovery and his clever solution. Who would have thought…. (no I won’t spoil the ending.) This is a great book for classrooms and school libraries.
Resources: You can find bonus activities and a teacher’s guide at Debbie Ohi’s website.
Debbie Ridpath Ohi: Where Are My Books? is the first picture book that Ohi has both written and illustrated. She illustrated the New York Times Notable Children’s Book I’m Bored and Naked, written by Michael Ian Black.