REVIEW: Ridge Writers on Books

Creston delivers for kids


Creston Publishing has brought out new full-color hardcover gems that delight and inform.

“The Case of the Poached Egg” (by Robin Newman, illus. by Deborah Zemke, ages 4-8, 40 pages, 2017, $15.95) reveals a mystery wrapped up in silly puns. Captain Griswold and Detective Wilcox, both mice, solve crime as MFIs, Missing Food Investigators. When Henrietta Hen phones to report the egg-napping of her child, the sleuths swing into action to review the fowl deed. Gabby Goose behaves suspiciously, like an odd duck, even for a goose. Miss Rabbit, Porcini the pig, and Colonel Peck the rooster, play Go Fish. What do you think? After egg-xamining the evidence, the MFI duo cleverly cracks the case.

“Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing” (by Nancy Churnin, illus. by James Rey Sanchez, ages 7-12, hardcover, 33 pages, 2018, $17.99) tells the true story of the beloved Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and Medal of Freedom winner. With snappy art that conveys a sense of Berlin’s musical style, the tale begins as the young boy and his family flee their Russian village that the Cossacks have burned. The refugees escape to America, where Irving earns pennies selling newspapers. He becomes a street singer, then a singing waiter. He almost accidentally happens into penning a song. Over the years, he creates “White Christmas” and “God Bless America.” In 1940 he donates all royalties from this classic to the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts through the God Bless America Fund. Churnin and Sanchez have produced an important and memorable lesson about resilience, talent and patriotism.

“Kate Warne: Pinkerton Detective” (Marissa Moss, illus. by April Chu, ages 5-13, 44 pages, 2017, $18.99) travels to 1856 when a woman answers a Pinkerton Agency ad. An avid bibliophile, she pores through her books for ideas for the job interview. When she applies for work, Allan Pinkerton says he doesn’t need a washerwoman or cook. She overcomes his resistance, explaining that men don’t have access to places women can go. Pinkerton relents, giving her the assignment. She succeeds beautifully in this real-life adventure, making history as the first female professional detective in the country.

Fun and fascination await in an eggs-ceptional yarn, a world-class songwriter and an exciting role model for girls.

This monthly column is written by members of Ridge Writers, the East Sierra Branch of the California Writers Club.

Story First Published: 2018-04-20