Monday, August 20, 2012

Something Queer is Going On (A Mystery)

Something Queer Is Going on
Elizabeth Levy ~ Mordicai Gerstein ~ Delacorte Press, 1973


Oh, how many years it took before I could get on board with this one.

The original in a series of books that ran from '73 - '97 (and more recently got spun off into "The Fletcher Mysteries"), I was forever finding copies and never reading them, instead choosing to sell or give them away. Then one day --as my son is prone to do --he got his hands on one from the rejected book pile and fell in love. I'm not sure why the title put me off for so many years. More than likely, I originally thought it too long for a picture book and kept passing it over. Now, my son loves to hear the story again and again, and I do love to indulge him.

Written by the prolific Levy and illustrated by Gerstein who eventually brought us the Caldecott Award-Winning, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, the story is all kinds of busy. A Encyclopedia Brown-worthy investigation that finds two friends, Jill and Gwen, on the hunt for the madman who dog-napped their good buddy, Fletcher.

Jill went outside to look around. She ran into her friend Gwen. "Hey," she said, "I can't find Fletcher."

"What do you mean?" asked Gwen. "Your dog never needs finding. He never goes anywhere."

"That's just the point," said Jill. "He wasn't in front of the house when I got home."

Fletcher was not the kind of dog to run away. In fact Fletcher hardly ever moved at all.


The two spreads that eventually helped win me over? This page with the different directional diagrams of Fletcher. (Hilarious.)

And the car chase map.

Definitely feeds my penchant for the busy in children's books. Never fear for poor Fletch though. Our wee lady Sherlocks do track down the culprit and bring him to justice, ending with a glorious parade finale where everybody wins. Though I've only ever come across one or two of the others in the series, I always keep my eye out now, hoping I'll find it before it's too late... if it isn't already. Sigh.


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14 comments:

Sarah said...

This was one of my FAVORITE books as a kid. I could never remember the name though, just that it was about a basset hound named Fletcher. You just made my whole day! Thank you!

caryn the designer said...

Ooh! I have Something Queer at the Ballpark and love it! My husband saw it at the bookstore when I found it and remembers it from childhood.

caryn the designer said...

Ooh! I have Something Queer at the Ballpark and love it. My husband remembered it from childhood when I showed it to him. Fun!

Robyn... Pen Pals and Picture Books said...

Looks fantastic- that dog diagram is wonderful! HA!

Suzanne said...

Thank you for the lovely trip back in time. I loved this book. I was a 70's child and wish I could go back, to keep all the books I had as a child. I think that it was the pictures and all the busyness that was the draw for me. Looking at the pictures, makes me understand why kids today love graphic novels so much.

Dan Moynihan said...

I loved this one as a kid, especially the schematic drawings of Fletcher. I don't think I noticed that he has a map of the Earth on his body, though! Cool!

amy said...

aw! looooved this one!

Kimberly said...

I have a daughter named Gwen, so I just purchased a copy of this book immediately upon reading your post. Thanks! I'm sure we'll love it.

Jloppi said...

Omg! I have been wondering for a really long time what this book was from my childhood. All I could remember was the name Gwen and how she tapped on her braces. Loooved this! Thank you, such a wonderful memory! Now I have to find it!

LEENA7 said...

Amazon has several of them. Also you mentionedThe Hat..abebppks.com has several of them and at a good price. Im glad, as I like to purchase childrens books..however, I don't understand why they aren't worth much.

LEENA7 said...

Amazon has several of them. Also you mentionedThe Hat..abebppks.com has several of them and at a good price. Im glad, as I like to purchase childrens books..however, I don't understand why they aren't worth much.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! for highlighting this book! I could never remember the name of this series - I only remembered the illlustrations and seeing your page captures totally triggered my memory! My children will love this!

Bookworm said...

I'd been looking for this book since my now 20 y/o was born! I only remembered Fletcher, the party and diagram of Jill with her toe blocking the door from being closed by the dog napper! Now at least my 10 year old can read it, along with Flat Stanley and Strawberry Girl!

Anonymous said...

I loved this book as a child. I could only remember the name of the dog and the photos of Flether and how they used to make me smile. I just got married and my husband has a hound dog mix named Elvis. Elvis's day is made up of looking for different places in the house to sleep and he only goes outside when necessary. I was telling my husband how the image of Elvis sleeping on the floor reminds me of a dog named Fletcher in one of my favorite childhood books. This post made my day and I will be sharing it with my husbanda tonight.

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