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Library ed. ISBN 978-0-399-55563-3 $20.99
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-399-55562-6 $17.99
Reviewed from galleys R 4-7 yrs
Mystery-loving Fox longs to be a detective, but with no real mysteries to solve, he spends his days reading and eating the apples he has gathered from under a tree on his way home from the library. One night as he lies wishing for a mystery, masked bandits steal all of the apples from the biggest tree, and the game is afoot! Ignoring his friends, whom sharp-eyed viewers (and even not-so-sharp-eyed viewers, frankly) will recognize as the thieves, Fox pursues his investigation with camera, magnifying glass, and a witness interview until he finds his first real clue: the smell of the apple pie his friends have baked for him. There is nothing edgy about this cheerful tale of an ambition happily realized, and the art is as retro as the storyline. [End Page 40] Stylized figures in subtly shaded mid-mod hues pop cleanly against a creamy ecru background, except, of course, for the nighttime scenes, which relax into a friendly teal for indoors and a tinted cerulean to backdrop the heist. Trukhan cleverly draws attention to famous literary detectives Holmes, Poirot and Miss Marple through the use of Fox’s sightline as he looks up from his book to their portraits on the wall of his delightfully messy house. Pair this with Murray’s Apple Pie ABC (BCCB 6/11) for an autumn art lesson on mid-century design reimagined.