Super Secret Agent Dotty Detective by Clara Vulliamy was my most recent chapter book read. I love a good mystery. I love a story where friends work together. I love books with a layout to support transitional readers. I recently discovered Dotty, girl detective and enjoyed every moment we spent together. There's an announcement at school for an upcoming talent show and she feels she has nothing to share. She makes a list of all the things she's good at; be still my writing heart. She discovers she's a "puzzle solving whiz kid". Dottie over hears a conversation in the cafeteria about a plan to win the talent show and she's wants to figure out how. Together with a couple of friends Dot Detectives is born. I love their Golden Rules; stay frosty (alert), follow that hunch, use your noodle, look for a light-bulb moment, and get proof. Readers follow their journey, friendship, and antics while the talent show is going into production and they do solve a mystery.
If I only looked at the thickness of this book I might not have picked it up for my second grade classroom. Once I looked inside I was visually in love before I knew anything about the story. This book looks like a documenter, a story teller is telling it. There's doodles, handwriting, and typed text to tell the story. The titles are a different day of the week helping the reader follow a timeline and done with label machine tape or fun fonts. Some pages are on graph paper and there's plenty of white space to help the reader. You even find Polaroid sketched photos taped with washi tape to the page. You feel like you are reading a journal that was carefully crafted.