Meet Q and Ray—elementary school super sleuths. Q’s a hedgehog. Ray’s a rat. They may be small, but in a town full of animals, they’re the top crime solvers! This graphic novel series for young readers is full of laughs, mysteries, and cases based on high-interest topics including art, outer space, and more. The Mola Lisa is missing! Someone sneaky has stolen the world's most famous painting. Good thing Q and Ray are on the case! These second-grade critters are Elm Tree Elementary's best crime solvers. Ray loves magic and stinky cheese. Q loves disguises and surprises. But can the super sleuths outwit an art thief?


Trisha Speed Shaskan has written more than forty books for children, including her latest picture book, Punk Skunks, illustrated by her husband Stephen Shaskan. Trisha received her MFA in creative writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has taught creative writing to students at every level from kindergarten to graduate school.


Q and Ray, two young animal detectives, have a very big case to solve for their first book. On a field trip to the art museum, the famous Mola Lisa is stolen right in front of them! It’s up to our two plucky inspectors to retrieve the priceless painting and catch the thief. The simple story and word choice make this ideal for the junior chapter-book set, and Tricia Speed Shaskan does a great job adding some small twists to make the ultimate solution to the mystery less obvious. Reluctant readers, however, might have some trouble with this one; although graphic novels are often a go-to for struggling readers, there’s a lot going on with each page. Word bubbles are numerous and often staggered, which could make focusing a challenge. That said, the simple cartoon illustrations are buoyant and bright, which adds to the lighthearted feel of the overall story. Q and Ray are off to a good start, and any aspiring sleuth will be eager to see where the pair goes from here


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