Skip to main content

Greetings from Somewhere : The Mystery of the Gold Coin AND Greetings from Somewhere: The Mystery of the Mosaic, by Harper Paris and illustrated by Marcos Calo, 166 pp, RL 2

First, The Kingdom of Wrenly, a fantastic new Bridge Chapter Book series with the rare (for this reading level) traditional fantasy setting and now Greetings from Somewhere. This mystery series for emerging readers, written by Harper Paris and illustrated by Marcos Calo, takes place in locations all over the world! It is definitely a great time to be a reader making the leap from leveled readers to chapter books!

Greetings from Somewhere begins with a premise that is similar to The Magic Treehouse series. Second graders Ethan and Ella Briar are twins who are about to travel the world when their mother, a newspaper reporter who has a new assignment. Early on in the first book in the series, The Mystery of the Gold Coin, Ethan and Ella even retreat to their treehouse. But the similarities end there, especially since there is no magic in Greetings from Somewhere - but there definitely is mystery!

In Book 1 we learn that Mr. Briar, a history professor, will home school Ella and Ethan while the Briars are traveling the world so Mrs. Briar can write her "Journeys with Jo!" column. Grandpa Harry, Mrs. Briar's father, was an archaeologist who also traveled the world and he comes to visit, reassuring the twins that they will enjoy their travels. And, for their travels, Grandpa Harry gives Ella a brand new journal to write in (she loves to write poems and mysteries, "The Case of the Missing Diamond" being her latest) and a gold coin with a globe on one side and a hawk on the other for Ethan. When this coin goes missing the day that the Briars are due to leave, Ella and Ethan retrace their steps from the day before to track it down.  Ella takes notes at all the places they search and, with minutes to spare, they solve the mystery! Harper Paris does a great job of creating a genuine mystery that is believably solved by two kids.

In the second book in the series, The Mystery of the Mosaic, the Briars arrive in Venice, Italy and the mysteries, thanks to Grandpa Harry, begin right away, with an email titled, "Two Clues." But when Ella and Ethan notice a red haired man sneaking into a gondola, a gondola that belongs to a new Venetian friend, they find themselves with two mysteries on their hands. Like The Magic Treehouse series,  The Mystery of the Mosaic is peppered with historical, geographical and cultural facts, which is fantastic, and each book even has a glossary at the end. I can't wait to read the next books in this superb new series as the Briars travel to France, China and Africa!

More Greetings from Somewhere 
titles coming soon!

Coming May, 2014!   Coming August, 2014!

Coming September, 2014!

Source: Review Copy


childEngineer said…
I will definitely be looking to check these out. My oldest loves the Magic Tree House series. I always loved mystery stories when I was a kid.

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…