Monday 20 October 2014

Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor

Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor by Julie Anne Grasso, illustrated by David Blackwell and Samantha Yallope (Julieannegrassobooks)
PB RRP $10.00
ISBN 978-0-987372-54-3
Reviewed by Jacque Duffy
First impression of this chapter book was that it would be perfect for boys age 7 -10. The cover illustration of our young detective Frankie, in front of a mysterious building, surrounded by ‘clues’, invites the reader to open the cover and investigate for themselves. I was reaching for this book over others in my ‘to read’ pile and I am sure the cover would have a similar effect on kids.

Julie Anne Grasso’s story of young Frankie and his search for his missing cousin Kat has many twists and turns, the ending is of course satisfying, but not at all expected. The setting for the story, Enderby Manor, is a strange building filled with strange characters and bumbling Inspector Cluesome whom I assume will be a consistent character in future Frankie Dupont stories. The story is written in a way that children will relate to. The lyricism in the text will sound wonderful to a read-a-loud ear and will capture a confident reader’s imagination.

Julie’s writing is flavoured with recognisable smells, sounds and sights and is a delight to read. “Frankie took a bite and his whole mouth tingled with delight as though his taste buds were giving a round of applause.”

The layout of the book is clean and easy to follow. The illustrations are a big part of the book and keep the story flowing nicely giving affirmation to the younger reader who may be a little unsure. Each black and white illustration is strong and appears to be full of life and colour.

Young readers will enjoy this book and I very much enjoyed this book. I look forward to reading more by this author.
Jacque Duffy is the author and illustrator of The Bear Said Please picture book and the series ‘That’s not a …” learn to read books used in all Queensland State Primary Schools and one local history coffee table book.

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