Reviews for Who Is Stealing the Twelve Days of Christmas


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Spring
There's a ""Christmas crime wave"" on nine-year-old Alex's street, which features a popular ""Twelve Days of Christmas"" display every year. The police are writing it off as a kids' prank, so it's up to Alex, his best friend, Yasmeen, and his ""ace detective"" cat, Luau, to track down clues, conduct interviews, and try to piece together the evidence. The amiable mystery is entertaining and moves at a brisk pace. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2003 #6
"Friday the goose and a partridge. Saturday a calling bird. Sunday morning a French hen. Someone was stealing the twelve days of Christmas. But who? And why?" There's "a Christmas crime wave" on nine-year-old Alex's street, which features a popular "Twelve Days of Christmas" display every year, and the College Springs, Pennsylvania, police -- Alex's detective mom included -- are writing it off as a kids' prank. The adults are more concerned with the recent rash of burglaries of collectible Super Macho Military Mice (think Beanie Babies with weapons) from area toy stores. So it's up to Alex, his best friend, Yasmeen, and his "ace detective" cat, Luau, to track down clues, conduct interviews, and try to piece together the evidence. The more Alex and Yasmeen uncover, however, the more baffling the case becomes -- especially when the thief starts returning the stolen birds one by one. Lots of characters and red herrings may frustrate readers new to the mystery genre, but the amiable story is entertaining and moves at a brisk pace, and soft-boiled detective Alex narrates with a healthy dose of self-deprecating humor ("Winter break sure wasn't going the way I'd planned. Way too much being in the cold. Way too much exercise. Way too much thinking"). Though rather unexpected, the nearly tragic climax brings everything crashing (literally) to a head, and the unlikely culprits are satisfyingly revealed and apprehended. And they would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those meddling kids. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2003 November #1
Start with a clever premise: the title. Go to Chickadee Court, where each holiday season, a dozen houses decorate the yards with a stanza from the favorite carol and someone is stealing the birds from the displays. Cast Alex Parakeet and his best friend Yasmeen as junior detectives, Luau the cat as an ace detective, and Alex's mom, as a real police detective. Add a collectible-toy fad of Super Macho Military Mice (Ulysses S. Mouse, General Douglas MacMouse, etc.), and ho, ho, ho, you've got a super-charged, easy mystery that's genuine fun. Who's the culprit--the old guy who doesn't celebrate Christmas? or the kid who can't have Mice? or the owner of the toy store, robbed of all its Mice? And what do the Mice have to do with the birds? Readers will pick up clues along with Alex and Yasmeen and the ending leaves room for another mystery with them. Breezy and humorous, with chatty dialogue and huge kid appeal, this holiday-themed story guarantees laughs for every season. (Fiction. 8-11) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 September #4
Freeman (The Year My Parents Ruined My Life) cooks up a lightweight but merry mystery. The chipper narrator, Alex Parakeet, lives on Chickadee Court, famous in Alex's small college town for its 12 houses that annually display items from the famous Christmas carol ("My family is seven swans a-swimming," he explains). But this year there is fowl play: the birds on neighbors' yards-partridge, goose, calling bird, etc.-disappear and then reappear one by one. Alex and his spunky best friend Yasmeen set out to crack the case while Alex's police detective mother is busy investigating a theft at a toy store. Although readers will catch on quickly that the two crimes are connected, Freeman pulls out a clever and unexpected solution. Breezy dialogue, some madcap moments and the boy's endearing rapport with his parents add up to a festive read. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2003 October
Gr 4-6-Each front yard in Chickadee Court is decorated as a different verse from the traditional song. Best friends Alex and Yasmeen become detectives when plastic birds-geese-a-laying, swans-a-swimming, the partridge-in-a-pear-tree, etc.-disappear. Readers will enjoy trying to solve the mystery, which is cleverly choreographed and unfolds dynamically. From zippy cover art to the deft and light first-person narrative, this accessible novel does not allow its serious underlying themes to overpower the fun.-S. P. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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