Reviews for Hamster of the Baskervilles : From the Tattered Casebook of Chet Gecko, Private Eye


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 May 2002
Gr. 3-5. Fourth-grade gecko detective Chet is back in his fifth mystery, which is filled with the jokes and wordplay his fans have come to love: "My jaw dropped. I didn't pick it up." This time Chet and his feathered sidekick, Natalie, are enlisted to catch the culprit who is trashing the classrooms and to locate a were-beast spotted at school. Could the chaos be the work of the Dirty Rotten Stinkers gang? Chet descends into "deep-doo-doo" more than once as he tries to find out. Hale ably preserves his elaborate comedy construct from first to last, whether it's puns and bad jokes from the hard-boiled, goofball gecko; the over-the-top animal characters (Ol' Ferret Face, Bosco Rebbizi, head of the Stinkers); or the clever details. Kids will have so much fun, they won't care that the mystery is pretty lame. ((Reviewed May 1, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Fall
Hot on the trail of a classroom vandal, fourth-grade private eyes Chet Gecko and Natalie Attired infiltrate the Dirty Rotten Stinkers gang and pursue a werewolf hamster. ChetÆs trademark wise-guy one-liners are up to form and will draw plenty of chuckles. Punchy black-and-white illustrations play up the animal charactersÆ anthropomorphic traits. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2002 February #2
For a box of jelly doughnuts and two Get-Out-of-Detention-Free cards, fourth-grade gumshoe Chet Gecko takes on his most baffling case yet: someone-or something-is trashing the classrooms of Emerson Hicky Elementary, leaving huge footprints, claw marks on the walls, and an aroma of peanut butter. Though Chet suspects The Dirty Rotten Stinkers, a sixth-grade gang led by oversized tarantula Erik Nidd, the waters are considerably muddied by reports of a giant hamster haunting school grounds at night. What gives? It's all faculty intrigue, as it turns out, with one teacher and her professed love slave (an assistant custodian) trying to frame a rival who has transformed a meek library assistant into a were-hamster. Chet's overwrought prose ("Some Mondays drag in like a wet dog, dripping puddles of gloom and trailing a funky stink . . .") and nonstop penchant for cracking wise, along with his mockingbird sidekick Natalie Attired's fondness for bad jokes, more than compensate for the truly hyper-contrived plot. A cast of grammar-school tough guys inhabits the scattered illustrations, and, as crime waits for no gecko, trailers for Chet's next few capers are appended. Clever, good fun. (Fiction. 9-11) Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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School Library Journal Reviews 2002 May
Gr 3-5-Chet returns for his fifth case, when his classroom is wrecked and he is offered two get-out-of-detention-free cards and a box of jelly doughnuts to find the culprit. The zany text reads like a mixture of stand-up comedy, Raymond Chandler mysteries, old films, and a fourth grader on an overdose of sugar. In order to solve the case Chet and his bird partner, Natalie Attired, infiltrate the Dirty Rotten Stinkers gang to find out more about suspects Erik Nidd, a tank-sized tarantula, and Bosco Rebbizi, a "surly ferret with a chip on his shoulder the size of a redwood tree." A werewolf is sighted and the playground has large tunnels in it. Chet interviews the librarian, an opossum who is an expert on the supernatural and talks like a Beat hipster from the 1950s. Plot development is not built steadily with the finding of clues, and the ending is sudden and contrived. However, the irresistible wordplay and punny humor may elicit giggles from many readers. Illustrations are adequate, but they don't have the originality and appeal of the text.-Debbie Stewart, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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