Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Book Review: The Klampie Mystery

Title: The Klampie Mystery

By: Luis Rodriguez

Published by: Mascot Books; Date: 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1-62086-031-1

Price: $14.95

Ages: 3-8

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

     Synopsis: Do you know what kind of mammal a koala is?  Is it a bear?  Well, Samantha Parker, who lives with her parents in San Diego, CA, is going to find out.  The Parkers are planning to spend Christmas in Australia, visiting some relatives in a little town near Sydney.  Before they go, Samantha’s dad buys her a life-sized, plush koala so she can start feeling some of the excitement of Australia.  She names it Klampie because its arms can clamp onto almost anything, just like a real koala, and she clamps it onto her backpack.  The Parkers enjoy their trip and seeing Uncle Tim and Aunt Sophie.  However, on the plane ride home, something amazing happens.  The koala in Samantha’s backpack turns out to be a real—well, a real mystery!  What happens to Klampie?  And will Samantha ever see her stuffed toy again?

     Overall thoughts: All children love teddy bears.  The Klampie Mystery is a fun story that includes a lot of interesting facts about koalas and about Australia.  Did you know that when it’s winter in America, it’s summer in Australia?  Samantha even gets to spend Christmas at a “barbie” on the beach!  What’s that?  And how do you think you would like it?  Author Luis Rodriguez also adds a little touch of mystery.  The reader will be in on what’s happening, but it’s something that Samantha and her family will be wondering about later on.  There is a page of information about the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), and the endsheets show the route of a plane trip from San Diego to Sydney and back again.  Kids will have a great time learning with Samantha about the differences in weather, time, and customs between the United States and the land “down under,” as well as looking at Rodriguez’s wonderful, full-color illustrations. 

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