Sesame Seade Mysteries 1: Sleuth on Skates by Clementine Beauvais and Sarah Horne
|Sesame Seade Mysteries: 1: Sleuth on Skates by Clementine Beauvais and Sarah Horne|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: The start of what looks likely to be a stunning new series is a brilliant example of a really joyous book, thanks to the hugely talented author Clementine Beauvais and illustrator Sarah Horne. Clementine Beauvais and Sarah Horne popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: May 2013|
|Publisher: Hodder Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Eleven-year-old Sesame Seade has been waiting all her life to be a super sleuth, so when a student journalist disappears and no-one seems all that bothered, she decides to solve the case herself. Can she track down the vanished girl before her parents work out what's going on?
I think one of the things books for this age range does perhaps even better than YA is fun books. That's not to say there aren't any really joyous YA novels out there, of course - I'm thinking of ones like Boys Don't Knit by T S Easton, Have a Little Faith by Candy Harper and Weirdos vs Quimboids by Natasha Desborough. But they seem to be relatively rare and hugely underrated, whereas books aimed at 9-12 year olds are maybe a more frequent source. I'm pleased to say that Sesame Seade is absolutely huge FUN with a capital F, U and N! Sesame herself is a brilliantly resourceful heroine who's clever, brave and honest, with a wonderful voice. (Having said that, while I loved reading about her, I'm so, so glad that I didn't have to teach her - I even felt sorry for poor Mr Halitosis!)
Much of the credit for Sesame's fabulousness goes to author Clementine Beauvais, of course, for giving us a great set of characters - I really enjoyed the relationship with her mother, a college professor, and her father, a reverend, both of whom clearly love their daughter but find her rather challenging! - and a clever, original plot. I was intrigued by the solution to the mystery and it was a genuinely surprising one. Oh, there are also some fabulous one-liners - I think my favourite is Normally I would have followed Jesus's advice, since my dad works for his dad... As if that wasn't enough, it's also got enough throwaway comments referring to classics - as befits a book set at Cambridge university - to pique younger reader's curiosity about Narcissus, Scheherazade and many others, so you can even think of it as educational.
However as great as Beauvais's writing is, the book also benefits hugely from the gorgeous illustrations by Sarah Horne. There are lots in each chapter and they're brilliant - perhaps my favourite being Sesame's friend Toby accidentally karate kicking a rather annoyed professor! Similarly, it's a gorgeously put together book, Hodder have done an amazing job of making it stand out and it's one to buy rather than borrow. (That's partly because you're bound to want to reread, and partly because it'll look stunning on your bookshelves!)
I think a heroine who would get on really well with Sesame is Kat Stephenson, one of my all-time favourites. Read about her in A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis and the other two books in that trilogy.
Clementine Beauvais and Sarah Horne was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy Sesame Seade Mysteries 1: Sleuth on Skates by Clementine Beauvais and Sarah Horne at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Sesame Seade Mysteries 1: Sleuth on Skates by Clementine Beauvais and Sarah Horne at Amazon.com.
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