In their latest adventure, Shifty and Sam are in Paris where they are going to bake a huge gingerbread Eiffel Tower for Gallerie Bonbon, an upmarket art gallery. But a master criminal is at large and when sneaky fox, Cunningham Sly, steals a precious painting from under their noses, the chase is on. Can our brilliant bakers save the day- and get their gingerbread tower built in time?
Our lovable duo are off on their adventures again. Tracey's lively text is a real joy to read aloud- the pace and energy are perfect. In keeping with the Parisian setting, there are French words and expressions woven into the story, adding that extra 'Je ne sais quoi' to the tale! This was also developed through the illustrations and led to wonderful conversations about Paris and its landmarks with my class, clearly demonstrating how a fabulous book can offer so much more than a brilliant story!
As ever in these stories, so much character is conveyed in very few words. Shifty and Sam's new adversary, Cunningham Sly, is a great example of this. If using this as a class text, a great deal of character building and language development could be done based on him- as well as Shifty and Sam, of course- and even their little spider friend!
Talking of the spider, I was so pleased to see that the traditional spider hunt on each page has been maintained - with some very challenging hiding places! Every illustration in the book is an absolute joy- full of detail and humour. Steven has played with some famous masterpieces, giving them a doggy make-over, once again encouraging discussion and further investigation of the originals. As events take place around them, the sharp-eyed reader will delight in noticing changes in each painting.
Each 'Shifty' adventure leaves me longing for the next one and this is no exception! Fun and light-hearted humour are guaranteed, but the quality of both text and illustration make them something really special. I hope they are going to work their way round Europe!
Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: The Missing Masterpiece Tracey Corderoy,
illustrated by Steven Lenton
Nosy Crow ISBN: 978-0857639745
Publication date: 5th July 2018