Monday, May 7, 2012

The Clock Without a Face

The Clock Without a Face
Scott Teplin, Mac Barnett, and Eli Horowitz
McSweeneys, 2010
$19.95, Board Book
April 16th, 2012

Genre: Mystery
Age: 8+
Description: Gus Twintig, assistant to the famous detective, Roy Dodge, has been called up to investigate a theft. Bevel Ternky, the owner of a 13-floor apartment building, has had a robbery—someone broke in and stole the 12 priceless numbers off of a clock in his safe. The especially odd thing—all the tenants of the 13 apartments were also burglarized! Roy and Gus start making their way down to the first floor to see if they can solve the mystery of who stole the clock numbers. 
Opinion: This is an interesting book. It is made from board book materials and is rectangular in shape with a triangular top to resemble the building. It is also very interactive. Roy is good at asking questions of the tenants while Gus is good at drawing all the rooms in lots of detail. So while they explore all the apartments and owners Gus makes drawings of the rooms. On the left-hand side of the book is the text from the interviews while the right-hand side features Gus’s drawings. It is up to the reader to determine where the numbers are. The culprit is discovered in the end, but no other answers are given. I guess this is because the authors actually commissioned real numbers to be made and they hid them around the Untied States. The clues to their locations are hidden within the pictures. To date, 11 of the numbers have been found. I would have liked the other clues to have had their answers printed in the back of the book. For example, all tenants had something stolen from them that was then hidden in another tenant’s apartment. You could literally spend hours searching for these items. An answer key for these clues would have been nice for those who would have gotten frustrated. Not having some of the answers given kind of makes the mystery incomplete and the reader left with a sense of having wasted their time.

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