Saturday, March 06, 2010

The chocolate money mystery

Title : The chocolate money mystery
Author : Alexander McCall Smith
Age group : 6 to 9 years
Pic source : Amazon

What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say "Alexander McCall Smith" ? Is it Mma Ramotswe of The No.1 Ladies detetective Agency ?! How can we ever forget the lovable and strong character of Precious Ramotswe :-)

But did you also know that the author has written a few books for children ? Well it was a very pleasant surprise for me when we learned this from our friend at the library. She pointed out some books of Alexander and we gave Sooraj the choice of picking up one of these books. He has a weakness for chocolate - so anything having chocolate in it or even the words written over it, gets his attention first :-). So this was the first book of McCall Smith that he read.

He thoroughly enjoyed this simple chapter book. The story is about two kids Maddy and Max, who go on adventure to catch bank robbers in Switzerland. As the story unfolds, the children get to know about the banks of Switzerland, St.Bernard dogs which help Maddy and Max in their mission, the Alps mountains, cable cars and ofcourse the famous Swiss chocolates ! There are lots of funny incidents along the way too. Sooraj said he liked the book mainly because it was very funny. I found that the language was quite simple too, so I would definitely recommend this book for early chapter book readers.

This was the only book that I sat along with him when he read it. He went on to read a couple more of Mc Call Smith's books - The Banana Machine and The Doughnut ring. I think there are also a few more, though each of them involve different characters.

I also learned that there is another series based on a boy called Akimbo. He lives in Africa near the national park and each of the different books is based on some adventure involving one of the grassland animals. We have just picked up Akimbo and the Lions and it seems to be very interesting too.


Choxbox said...

Have enjoyedMcCall Smith's The No.1 Ladies Detective series and so was thrilled when I found he wrote for kids too. We have five of these and they are a big hit!

Was fun reading your perspective R!

Tharini said...

Wow! Another series reco!! Just what we need right now. We are so going to check this out. Its wonderful for me to have you guys discovering Sooraj's new tastes and preferences in reading, because it almost always goes down well with Winkie too!

Uma said...

McCall Smith is one of my favourites too and I didn't know he wrote for kids. I should remember this when my daughter is old enough for it...

ranjani.sathish said...

Thanks Chox ! I would have been shocked only if you had told me that you were not aware of this series ;-)

Tharini, yes definitely try this for Winkie !

Uma, yes this will be a great series to introduce to children who are getting fluent with reading and are ready to move on to chapter books ! It gives them a great thrill to move chapter after chapter...makes them feel like adults I guess :-)

Praba Ram said...

Fun one, R! I can see K enjoying this. The got-to-be-funny/silly, is the key for her too at almost 8! :)

I have some other recommendations on the mystery side, that I have been wanting to share (most second grade and up..) They are also early chapter books. 1) A to Z mysteries (, 2) Capital mysteries 3)Calendar Mysteries - all by Ron Roy and Bailey School kids. 4) Boxcar children, for slightly older (Grade 2 to 6 - such....
I will add these on the side bar, "early chapters in mystery". Sorry for listing them here.

d said...

i absolutely love the ladies detective agency series (i have them all, and have just pre ordered the double comfort safari club), and discovered these childrens books at blossom. we have several (including the doughnut ring, the popcorn pirates, the bubblegum tree etc) and also akimbo - lions, elephants and crocodile. my 7 year old loves them all and i love them more than her!

d said...


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