Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong by A.J. Low | Rating: ★★★★☆
As a note, a printed galley of this novel was sent to me by the
publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my
opinions in any way.
Now that one of my best friends' daughter is at an age where she is beginning to develop her own interests in entertainment, I was more than ready to pick out some children's books for her to enjoy with the help of her mother. She is not quite at the age where she can read on her own, but she is certainly a curious mind--and when I was sent a galley of Sherlock Sam's first two novels, I was thrilled to give it a go and pass it on to my friend. The first thing you should know is that it is an incredibly warm and mysterious take on Sherlock--it's not quite a retelling, instead it embraces qualities of the iconic character's crime solving skills and adapts them sweetly for a younger audience. The Missing Heirloom in Katong is fresh and sweet and will leave children feeling satisfied that they walked right into solving the mystery with our lead character.
The most important part about Sherlock Sam is that it doesn't treat its audience like it is oblivious nor does it indicate the mystery is for children. Parents will fall in love with the overall sweetness and diversity of it and, in fact, learn a thing or two themselves. Sherlock Sam is diverse and beautifully told, simple and to the point in a way that will leave kids giggling. It's smart enough for adults to not go mad while reading it and it's silly enough to keep anyone on their toes. Who can resist a food-obsessed boy and his pet robot (yes, Watson is a robot!) solving the greatest mystery of his day--a missing cook book!
Not only is the writing great, the doodles adorable and the plot delightful, there is a lot to be learned from the setting and characters. It's a book that teaches a child just as much as it entertains them; it keeps the wheels turning and will surely be a hit amongst its target audience. Sherlock Sam wraps up his first big mystery in a timely fashion and promises more adventures in the future. I believe that it will lend a hand in diversifying literature and opening up a whole new generation to classic literature as well.
It's everything a kid could want. My friends daughter was on the edge of her seat with the giggles and theories throughout the time it was read aloud to her. She loved the characters and really got to work on trying to solve the mystery on her own.
Written by a beautifully talented married couple, Sherlock Sam is sure to be a hit with the kids and leave them wanting more adventures. Not only do they learn a bit of problem solving, they also can expand their vocabulary and knowledge of the world. In the back, there's a handy bit of information for those unfamiliar words, settings and foods. Sherlock Sam is just what children's literature needs.