R. C. Duck, Private Eye
Written by Kevin White
Illustrated by Rex White
Chimeric Press 3/01/2016
32 pages Ages 4—8
“Hen is cracking up as she and R. C. scramble to find out who could be breaking her eggs. R. C. Duck, Private Eye us on the case in this hilarious mystery of puns and yolks . . . I mean “jokes,” where the most obvious answer is often overlooked if we lose our heads.” [back cover]
With her feathers all ruffled, Hen rushes to hard-boiled detective, R. C. Duck, Private Eye. Hen had left early in the morning to catch worms for breakfast. When she returned, she found one of her eggs cracked. Sure enough, when Duck checks out Hen’s nest, there are little bits of shell scattered everywhere. Whoever broke the egg sure made a mess.
Sure this case won’t be over easy, R. C. Duck scrambles for clues, starting at the scene of the crime: Hen’s nest. To Hen’s utter shock, another egg is broken. It seems this criminal likes breaking the eggs one at a time. Duck interrogates several possible suspects—those who had opportunity—but each has a solid alibi. In the meantime, one more egg is shattered. Duck wonders, “Who could hatch such a diabolical plot?”
The White brothers are back with a funny pun-riddled story perfect for kids who love a good mystery. Who is breaking Hen’s eggs? Why would someone break the eggs one at a time while Hen is away from her nest (a crib)? The answer seems obvious enough, but is it? Duck uses many puns in his narrative.
“Hen . . . ruffled her feathers.”
“Hen looked shell shocked.”
“Hen boiled over,” (after seeing another cracked egg)
The puns flow at an even rate, infecting the story with baskets of humor, if not eggs. The suspects include an over-sleeping Rooster, a large, logical Cow, and a recently wed Fox. In the end, R. C. Duck, Private Eye does crack the case. The solution to this mystery is easy to discern, but the real fun is Duck and Hen running around the farm, accusing one animal after another as eggs continue to crack. In the end, Hen is “clucking for joyful” when Duck closes the case with a, “Holy yolks!”
Kids who enjoy silly characters will enjoy R. C. Duck, Private Eye. The story is fun to read aloud and will give the reader—adults—much to groan about, in a good humorous way. The illustrations depict each scene in a combination photograph-illustration, making the background scene real and the characters artist created. No matter the spread, the illustrations enhance the story without giving the mystery away. The characters are expressive, and rich in detail.
R. C. Duck, Private Eye takes on the pun, and cracks the case of the cracked eggs with tongue-in-check joy. Recommended for young children who like mysteries, no matter how punny they may be (the story, not the child). While the puns are not difficult, many will be new to young children. Adults need to be ready to explain the puns. R. C. (what do these initials mean?)* Duck, Private Eye is typical Kevin and Rex White fare. Made for laughs with learning tucked in.
R. C. DUCK, PRIVATE EYE. Text copyright © 2016 by Kevin White. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Rex White. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chimeric Press, West Branch, MI.
Find R. C. Duck, Private Eye on Goodreads HERE.
* Found out! R. C. stands for Rex Cameron, the illustrator is Duck.
Kevin White: http://www.chimericpress.com/kevin-white.html
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R. C. DUCK, PRIVATE EYE. Illustrations © 2016 by Rex White. Used by permission of Chimeric Press.
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: R. C. Duck, Private Eye by Kevin White & Rex White, and received from Chimeric Press, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
While linking the review, I came across something interesting. I think I may have found the longest title for any children’s book. Here is the title:
The Adventures of Tommy and Tina Dreaming of Being a Termite and Finding a Home in the Forest: An Educational Story for Young Children that Will Improve and Build Relationships and Communications with Their Older Family Members (By Rod Burns, Xlibris, Sep 2015, 978-1-50359170-7)