When Principal Porcupine enlists Flatfoot Fox's help in solving the town's latest mystery, the great gumshoe is astonished. How could someone steal the Old Country Schoolhouse? Flatfoot Fox is the smartest detective in the world, but this is the first time anyone has asked him to find a missing building. It's up to Flatfoot Fox and his faithful assistant, Secretary Bird, to uncover the clues and find the missing schoolhouse. Once again Eth Clifford and Brian Lies collaborate on a successful Flatfoot Fox mystery.
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Eth Clifford's best-known title, Help! I'm a Prisoner in the Library (1979), concerns a situation she would no doubt welcome. A passionate reader as a child, she became a dedicated author and editor with scores of her own titles on library shelves. Clifford was born on Christmas Day in New York City and moved several times as a child. She remembers learning to read in a one-room schoolhouse set in an apple orchard, and she discovered the public library when her family later moved to Philadelphia. At age sixteen, she met her future husband at a poetry reading in Brooklyn, and it was he who encouraged her to begin writing while he was stationed in the South Pacific during World War II. Clifford began with short stories and soon published her first adult novel, Go Fight City Hall (1949), which was a Reader's Digest Book of the Month and was excerpted in humor anthologies. Clifford, her husband, and their daughter later moved to Indiana, where they lived for twenty years. While there, Clifford contributed to many social studies, science, and language arts textbooks for children, and this work eventually developed into her primary interest -- writing children's fiction. Clifford's books for children cover a wide range of ages and subject matter. Her youngest readers can match their sleuthing abilities against an animal detective in Flatfoot Fox and the Case of the Missing Eye (1990), handsomely illustrated by Brian Lies. Middle-grade readers enjoy Clifford's deft combination of suspense and humor in a mystery adventure series of five novels about Mary Rose and Jo-Beth Onetree, the sisters who were first introduced in Help! I'm a Prisoner in the Library, which won the 1982 Young Hoosier Award. Among the story's appealing elements are the believable relationship between the practical and responsible Mary Rose and her younger, very dramatic sister and the real sense of fear generated as the girls feel their way through the darkened rooms of the old mansion turned library. Subsequent adventures find the sisters sleuthing in such places as a ghost town and a shoe museum. All five books were illustrated by George Hughes. Clifford often incorporates interesting factual information into her humorous works. Children reading Harvey's Marvelous Monkey Mystery (1987) have an opportunity to learn about the companion monkeys who are trained to perform useful services for their physically challenged owners. In The Rocking Chair Rebellion (1978), a book for teens that includes contemporary problems, a young girl finds herself involved with the distresses of the elderly when she volunteers to work for the aged. This book was made into an "ABC Afterschool Special." Some of Clifford's books are written with a simplicity of style coupled with an emotional resonance that appeal to readers of all ages. The Remembering Box (1985) is a quiet and beautifully told story of the legacy that a Jewish grandmother gives her grandson and the understanding between them that allows the boy to accept her death. Clifford once called her ambition the desire to "rival Scheherazade and tell one thousand and one stories." She has succeeded in creating a readership that looks to her for a variety of books, all with strong characterization, sensitive treatment of relationships, authentic detail, and wonderful adventure.From School Library Journal:
Grade 1-4. Flatfoot Fox's latest outing is perhaps the funniest and best yet in the easy-reader series. Wacky Weasel, furious that Principal Porcupine would ridicule his claim to being a magician, promises to make the schoolhouse disappear. And it looks as though he has done just that. Flatfoot Fox agrees to find it, but an assortment of silly suspects and clues complicate matters. Of course, Flatfoot Fox solves the puzzle in the end, but along the way there are laughs aplenty. Secretary Bird, a clumsy, hilarious Watson, tags along as usual, and his exchanges with one Daffy Armadillo are particularly funny. The repetition, alliterative names, and simple clues all add up to a fun mystery for young readers. Lies's stippled and striped black-and-white illustrations capture all the lively humor, while including a few clues for observant children.?Marilyn Taniguchi, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Houghton Mifflin, 1997. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110395814464
Book Description Houghton Mifflin, 1997. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # VIB0395814464