Detective Clancy Saves the Night
by Margaret M. Peiffer
Trafford Publishing

"The distraught parents saw a sign that read, 'Feathers Detective Agency.' They needed to find someone to help them locate the runaways."

As more children’s products become electronic these days (including books), it’s good to see there are still printed pages that parents and kids can share. In addition to being a story that children can both learn from and relate to, Peiffer's charming chronicle also provides beneficial life lessons in behavior and safety.

The plot involves a family in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia, for July 4th activities. As they visit sites and mingle with the crowds, the family dog suddenly bolts, and the couple’s children take after her. The parents and children become separated, and a frantic search ensues to find the missing kids. Fortunately, Feathers Detective Agency is close by, and Detective Clancy, an exceedingly wise owl, is engaged to help with the search. Later that evening, the keen insight and unwavering bravery of Detective Clancy are instrumental in helping the parents find their children unharmed and safe in the park.

More than simply providing a tale of adventure, Peiffer fills her story with interesting information about landmarks that aid readers understanding of the historical significance of the Alexandria area. There are also sympathetic attitudes reflected and practical advice given in relation to the problem of homelessness within America’s cities and towns.

Engaging, warm, and non-frightening prose is used to tell the author’s story. Plus, a glossary is included for some words that may initially exceed the limits of younger readers’ vocabularies. Peiffer has also thoughtfully added themes and topics for discussion that arise throughout her story, along with colorful and whimsical illustrations that add visual interest to this entertaining and educational book for children.

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