by Jessica Lawson, published 2015
“With her shabby shoes, the too-big dress, too-tight sweater, and the odd gray apron hanging down, she looked more like a scullery maid than a guest. But the apron’s pocket was handy for holding her mouse, and a small sweater hole would give him sufficient air…”
Mysteries are generally a genre that I’m not particularly familiar with. However, from time to time, I find myself reading a mystery children’s book and being drawn in. Nooks and Crannies held my attention all the way to the extremely happy, and perhaps predictable, ending, where the orphan girl meets a long-lost, very rich, relative.
So why read a book like this if it’s predictable? Honestly, the portrait of the cold-hearted treatment of this particular orphan girl, and the resulting longing for family that she cultivated, has quite an effect on the mind. I found myself longing for family as well (though I have a lovely family.) There’s something compelling about a children’s book that evokes compassion and insight into the unfortunate events in people’s lives. Waiting for the turn of events that makes their life better is really what keeps one turning the pages.
There’s no doubt this is a happy-ever-after story, completely removed from real life. If you want realism, this is not the children’s book to get. But if you want a good mystery children’s book, something to pass the time away, and feel good in the end, you might enjoy this tried and true formula book. A word to parents, there is a fair amount of mayhem in the book, as the bad guys are somewhat unpredictable. This is not for any one who will be scared of ghosts, a death, or danger. But in fact, except for a death by natural causes, no one is hurt during the whole event. And if you are a fan of Roald Dahl style of quirky mayhem, you’ll have no problem with this. One reviewer described this children’s book as a sort of “Roald Dahl meets Clue.”