by Trenton Lee Stewart.

I am not the right person to ask for any kind of objective review here. But I’m glad it’s part of the permanent collection: Voted one of De’s Most Likely Books to Drag Up to a Treehouse, If She Had One. This is also a Lay on Your Stomach and Kick Your Legs While You Read book. But then I loved Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys and Princess Bride…I don’t know, maybe not the next big children’s classic or anything, but it ought to be, both for what it achieves and how it manages not to screw itself by getting altogether too big for its uncomplicated (which is not the opposite of complex) britches. Why haven’t I seen this all over the place? Maybe there’s just too much good kids’ stuff coming out lately? Conspiracy? Too much TV? Too much TV! Auuuuggggh!

P.S. Oh, yeah–the artist, Carson Ellis, draws like a version of Edward Gorey abducted from an alternate universe where unmentionable Victorian-era tentacled creatures did not attempt to infect his brain.

P.P.S. Also, I didn’t see the thing about Constance. But then, I often don’t see these things coming. I like making puzzles far more than solving them.

P.P.P.S. Why didn’t I write this book? Why? Why? Why?