Friday, 18 April 2014

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 18th April 2014 - "William and the Missing Masterpiece" by Helen Hancocks (Templar Publishing)

William and the Missing Masterpiece

Written and Illustrated by
Helen Hancocks

Published by Templar Publishing

It's a hard life sometimes, being an international cat of mystery. One plans a holiday but before one can even pack a pair of kipper slippers, one's special services are required.

Helen Hancocks has an uber-sharp wit, a fabulous eye for a canny pun or two and in this cheese-fest of a story, William - the aforementioned detective cat - is called upon by Monsieur Gruyere to solve the most dastardly crime of the century, the theft of the Mona Cheesa.

Monsieur Gruyere is at his wits end, but William jets to Paris to get right on the case. It's not long before he realises that National Cheese Week, a mysterious stranger and an art contest are all somehow tied in with the theft.

We've had quite an arty week, soaking up Helen's fabulous reworkings of famous paintings in this book (The wonderful Book Sniffer let us in on a secret - lift up the flyleaf cover of the book for a surprise!) It was actually great fun diving onto the Internet to show Charlotte the real paintings that Helen based some of her mogtastic versions on (particularly loved the cat version of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" and a rather nifty homage to fromage in her version of "Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe")

Back to the case and William decides on a stake out, with an eye on the art contest, surely the dastardly thief is sure to show his or her colours. Will William solve the crime and be back home in time for a brie baguette?

Everything about this book tickles our fancy, from the brilliantly funny story to the cheesy works of art. Charlotte also loved the various cameos by a certain black-and-white flippered chap (You know who we mean!) and I had a ball spotting the myriad art references Helen has worked into the story (see how many you can spot!)

Utterly, completely brilliant, and actually a really nice jumping off point if your child is interested in art, enjoys the story and wants to discover more. By the way, we think the real William is as dapper as his book counterpart - and we hope Book William is ripe for more cheesy adventures in the not too distant future.

Charlotte's best bit: Spotting all the different cameos by a very well loved character from Helen's other book (no spoilers!)
Fave cheese: Big fat Mozzarella!

Daddy's Favourite bit: So many giggles and guffaws, and absolutely loved all the classic art reworked in Helen's own style. Dare I say "Brie-lliant!"
Fave Cheese: Shropshire Blue on a nice crusty sourdough roll

(Kindly sent to us for review by Templar Publishing)