Mystery books for kindergartners

What will happen next? Inspire your child's curiosity (and feeling for plot) with these mini-nailbiters.

By GreatSchools Staff

Detective LaRue

Detective LaRue

Detective LaRue by Mark Teague (Scholastic, 2004). $11.55.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

Two neighborhood cats go missing, birds are disappearing from pet shops all over town and now nearly a whole family of pigeons is gone as well! When LaRue the dog is falsely accused of catnapping, he is determined to get to the bottom of the situation. 32 pages.

— Krisha Roach

The Escape of Marvin the Ape

The Escape of Marvin the Ape

The Escape of Marvin the Ape by Caralyn and Mark Buehner (Puffin, 1999). $5.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

Marvin the ape has escaped from the zoo and is fitting into everyday life quite nicely. Will the zoo find him before one of the other animals follows suit? 32 pages.

— Krisha Roach

Knuffle Bunny Too

Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity

Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Children, 2007). $11.55.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

Anyone who has ever treasured a special doll or stuffed animal will understand Trixie's feeling as she trots off to school to share "her one-of-a-kind Knuffle Bunny." Her eyes are wide with excitement as she tugs her father behind her along the Brooklyn Streets, and she can hardly breathe as she lists the names of all the kids with whom she is going to share him. They also will understand her dismay and unhappiness when the day doesn't turn out as she expected, and why she cannot sleep at night until the case of mistaken identity is solved. Once again, Mo Willems has created a masterpiece that will engage kids and parents alike. He has set simply drawn, yet colorful and expressive, cartoon characters against real black-and-white photographs of Brooklyn. The effect is captivating! On top of that, the language is straightforward and somewhat understated, which completes this perfect package. 48 pages.

— Common Sense Media

Strega Nona

Strega Nona

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola (Aladdin, 1975). $7.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

In this delightful fable, we meet Strega Nona the benevolent town witch everyone turns to in their time of need. When she hires Big Anthony as an assistant, he is warned to never touch her magical pasta pot. Unfortunately his curiosity gets the better of him and soon the whole town is overrun by pasta! 32 pages.

— Krisha Roach