Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Sniff the Detective by Richard McClure Scarry

Sniff is a detective.
He helps people find things.
He helps catch bad people.
He thinks with his head.
And he smells with his nose.


Personal commitments over the long weekend kept me away from my computer at home, and naturally, from blogging. I'm not comfortable writing or commenting on my cellphone or tablet. Something or other goes wrong, there are unsolicited pop-ups and often the page reloads itself. I find that annoying. I took the time off to read short stories, including a delightful children's detective story. Yes, you read that correctly. It was a first for me in middle age. I found the story online and read it with wide-eyed innocence. No, that's taking it too far.

Sniff the Detective (Golden Books, 1988) by the late American children's author and illustrator, Richard McClure Scarry, is an illustrated book containing two stories—Sniff Catches the Robber and Sniff's Best Case Ever—with anthropomorphic characters, animals who talk and act like humans. They're all very likeable.

In Sniff Catches the Robber, Chief Hound asks Sniff, the dog detective, to help catch a thief who has been stealing Mrs. Jewel's precious bracelets from under her nose. Mrs. Jewel, a matronly pig, likes to grow pumpkins and eat them too. Since Mrs. Jewel has neither been out nor has had any visitors, Sniff decides to spend the night at her house and catch the culprit red-handed.

In Sniff's Best Case Ever, it's raining and Sniff is lazing in bed when the police chief in another city summons him. Our sleuth is not happy because it's his birthday next day, and he wants to stay home and eat cake and ice cream. But duty calls. Sniff catches a train where he encounters shady guys wearing dark glasses and carrying violins, staring at him and scaring him out of his wits.

Sniff the Detective is a funny little book with large colourful illustrations and large typeface, the kind that you can read to your little kids or grandkids at bedtime. I liked Sniff's sleuthing philosophy. The K9 detective has got it right.

Surprised with my choice? Well, children's, YA or adult, a detective story is a detective story and you're never too young or old to read one. Reading time: 10 minutes, maybe less.



Note: Writer-blogger Patti Abbott is hosting Friday's Forgotten Books over at her eclectic blog Pattinase, where you can read some fine reviews of forgotten or overlooked books.

12 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more, Prashant. There's never a wrong age to read a good story. And Richard Scarry writes some very good stories. Glad you enjoyed this.

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    1. Margot, I read Richard Scarry for the first time. He was a prolific writer.

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  2. I've read and enjoyed books by him but haven't read this one.

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    1. Charles, I didn't know about Richard Scarry till I found this book at Archive.org.

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  3. I loved the Richard Scarry books when my son was the age to read them to him. I can understand why you enjoyed those stories.

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    1. Tracy, I don't see age as a barrier to read all kinds of books. I did enjoy these stories.

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  4. Glad you enjoyed, but I don't think it will be added to my reading list, not until I get some grandchildren anyway!

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    1. I sure did, Col. I'll be reading them to my grandchildren, too, when I have some!

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  5. I love Richard Scarry too, Prashant. Always did. I'm going to look for these books so I can share them with my grandkids. He was one of those author/illustrators I wished would live forever. And in a way, he has - in his books.

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    1. Yvette, I had never heard of Richard Scarry till I came across this book online. I will surely be reading more of his work.

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  6. Ha. From Carr's Snuff Box to Sniff the Detective. It must be my allergies, but my eyes are watering...a-a-a-a-CHOO!!

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    1. Mathew, I still haven't read Carr and I know what I have been losing out on.

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