________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 29. . . .March 28, 2014


Murilla Gorilla: Jungle Detective.

Jennifer Lloyd. Illustrated by Jacqui Lee.
Vancouver, BC: Simply Read Books, 2013.
41 pp., hardcover, $11.95.
ISBN 978-1-927018-15-6.

Subject Headings:
Gorilla-Juvenile fiction.
Theft-Juvenile fiction.
Detective and mystery stories.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Jennifer Baetz.

**** /4



Ms. Chimpanzee was at her stall, Magnificent Muffins.
She looked upset.

“What happened?” asked Murilla.
“I made banana muffins today to sell. But someone took them!”
“What did they look like?” asked Murilla.
“Like muffins, of course!”

Murilla drew a picture of muffins in her notebook.


Award-winning Canadian author Jennifer Lloyd introduces emerging readers to loveable Murilla Gorilla, a slightly disorganized but well-meaning detective who is determined to solve mysteries in her own unique manner…and in her own time.

internal art     Murilla is awoken by a call from Ms. Chimpanzee who has made banana muffins to sell at Mango Market, but the muffins have gone missing. Murilla is dedicated to the case, but she takes her time getting out of bed and finding all the tools she needs to solve the mystery. Although she moves slowly, asks some silly questions, and perhaps takes more breaks than she really needs, Murilla eventually comes up with some great ideas to track down the muffin thief. Ms. Chimpanzee may doubt Murilla’s ability to solve the mystery, but readers will be delighted to watch Murilla take her time and methodically work her way through the clues that lead her to the answer she seeks. Murilla believes in herself, even though she faces several setbacks throughout the story, and readers will learn a valuable lesson in maintaining self-confidence through their own challenges.

     Murilla Gorilla: Jungle Detective provides a stepping stone from early readers to first chapter books. Each of its five chapters contains 6 to 8 pages, and clear medium sized text is balanced well with white space. Short sentences and plenty of dialogue allow for easier reading and keep the story moving. Although the book would make sense through text alone, whimsical watercolour illustrations by Jacqui Lee provide support and will appeal to readers who still enjoy reading pictures as well as text.

     Murilla Gorilla: Jungle Detective is the first in a new series of early readers and would be a welcome addition to the personal libraries of emerging readers or in their school or public libraries.

Highly Recommended.

Jennifer Baetz is a Fine Arts Librarian in Saskatoon, SK.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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