Lark Steals the Show
Lark Steals the Show
I couldn’t believe Connor and I had a case we couldn’t solve. Today had really become my worstest day ever. I followed my brother out of the gallery and into the sunshine to find our family.
Young readers will once again enjoy embarking on another problem-solving adventure with Lark Ba in Lark Steals the Show, the sixth book in the “Lark Ba Detective” series. A stolen painting at the student art show and a good friend caught red-handed with the masterpiece provides a perfect mystery for Lark and her twin brother Connor to solve. But navigating through the red herrings will be challenging.
The Ba twins are excited to attend the exhibit of their classmates’ art at the local gallery. They are especially curious to see their friend Franklin’s painting. Unfortunately, another classmate, Kyle, who is always mean to Franklin, is there to rudely criticize Franklin’s art. Just before the show begins, Kyle’s painting is stolen. It is found in Franklin’s backpack, without the frame. Can the Ba detectives, together with their friends Sophie and Kate, discover who the art thief really is and prove that Franklin is innocent? With little time before the show’s opening, can they find the necessary clues and separate the cleverly planted red herrings to solve the case? Author Natasha Deen once again provides a fun and exciting story for her readers.
Lark’s personal narration highlights the personalities of the characters, especially her own. The inclusion of her crossed out spelling attempts, how she deals with her dyslexia, and her fascination with words and idioms all serve to create a realistic and funny character. Young readers will find the format inviting with the amusing black and white illustrations by Marcus Cutler and the short chapters and well-spaced text. The sections at the end of the book, “The Words Lark Loves” and “The Stuff Lark Almost Got Right”, explain some of the words and idioms readers might find puzzling.
As in the other books in this series, Lark Steals the Show features a culturally diverse family, Korean and Kenyan. The inclusion of gender neutral pronouns flows easily within the story. The themes of problem-solving steps, bullying, persevering and appreciating differences provide relevant topics for discussion. Emergent readers will enjoy this engaging early chapter book.
Janice Foster is a retired teacher and teacher librarian in Winnipeg, Manitoba.