Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Secret Hide-away Box

The scene: A museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Someone has stolen rare and precious artifacts from a jewelry exhibit.  Detectives believe that after the heist, thieves may have stowed away the treasures somewhere in the desk of this office space.   Can you find their secret hiding place?
I'll give you a hint: You'll get a hoot out of this hiding spot.

"But how could this little guy be involved?" you wonder, "He's too cute to be up to no good!"
Looks can be deceiving - he is hiding a hand full of priceless artifacts in his plushy little belly!  Case closed!
I found a jewelry box at the dollar store and made an owl body from felt to conceal it. The cheerful blue bow covers the opening and creates the illusion of a cuddly little stuffed animal. To be sure that people are fooled into believed it's an innocent toy, I used very visible stitching and big button eyes.

As I shared with you in my book safe post, I love secret hiding places and mystery.  Only you know where I keep my secret treasures.

The origin of my love of mystery solving and the inspiration for this project is the Encyclopedia Brown book series.

My friend Emlyn Chand, the author of the young adult novel Farsighted, has a monthly challenge on her blog: Books That Made Me Love Reading.  Each month, she asks her followers to read a book that they loved as a child and review it.  Here's my review:

The Encyclopedia Brown series kindled my love of reading. After recess my third grade teacher, Mrs. Husk, read a few of the short mystery stories to our class.  I was immediately hooked.  I rode my bike to the library that weekend and checked out as many as the librarian allowed.  I read through the entire series in a matter of weeks.
   A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across Encyclopedia Brown: The Case of the Exploding Plumbing at Goodwill.  The book contains ten short mysteries which I read and solved with my husband before bed.  As an adult, I still found them challenging - In fact, I'm surprised that I was able to solve any of them as an eight year old child.  The main character, Leroy (nicknamed Encyclopedia due to his knowledge of almost everything), is a ten year old super sleuth.  He helps his police detective father solve local mysteries and runs a detective agency with his classmate, Sally.  
    To solve the mysteries in this specific book, readers must have a knowledge of hat sizes, bank hours and police uniforms. In some cases, I read and re-read the short mystery four or five times before giving up and flipping to the answer page. Even then, after reading the conclusion, I was still baffled!
   After reading the inside cover, I realized that the books were originally copyrighted in 1974.  I couldn't help laughing at the out dated slang.  One character, in a fit of anger says to another, "May a giant clam bite you on the nose!"  The characters also refer to typewriters and other out dated objects, making the mysteries even more confusing.
  Although the books are slightly out dated and the mysteries might be challenging for young readers, I would still recommend them.  They are short reads and if you don't know the information required to solve one of the crimes...at least you will learn something new!

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