Chasing Vermeer

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Blue Baillet ill. by Brett Helquist
The Chicken House
Oct 2005
What an excellent concoction this is! Especially recommended for that group of children referred to by the rather unpleasant phrase 'gifted and talented'. It's a book for the thinking reader, for the reader who likes puzzles and mysteries. It's also a book that will make teachers who slavishly follow schemes of work think carefully about becoming more like Ms Hussey, the novel's wonderfully spur-of-the-moment teacher.

The book uses pentominoes (a set of 12 tessellating shapes each comprising five squares) as a model for the way apparently unconnected events can be made to interlock and lead to the solution of a mystery. The central relationship between Petra and Calder is somewhat serious and geeky but works well and the moody black-and-white fullpage illustrations by Brett Helquist make a huge contribution to the novel's atmosphere.

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on October 16, 2005 11:25 AM.

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