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UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE: WINTER WONDERLAND

What to know: A very likeable Dog Detectivie named Upton Charles is aided by his family at solving a mystery while on a ski vacation.
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
Recommended age 8-12
Book
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
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UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE: WINTER WONDERLAND cover image
After all of his adventures, the one and only Upton Charles (Dog Detective) receives his rightful spot in being the guard dog of his beloved family. Though he is small, he will detect any case and will always protect his family. Upton Charles knows by now that a hero like himself can always take a vacation at any time but he always has to be prepared for whatever life will throw at him. He and his family go on a skiing trip and Upton judges the Inn by its cover and does not feel welcome at first. Then, two St. Bernards, Hans and Fritz host him and do an excellent job. While Upton and his family are having fun, a mysterious presence arrives and is urgent. There seems to be missing treasure. While Upton the mastermind dog and his assistants try to solve the case, Upton gets closer and closer to his new friends and family.

I admire how the author allows Upton to be more courageous and tough but at the same time playful and sweet. I also enjoyed that the setting in each of these e-books is different every time. I also like this specific setting because it is winter which causes the setting to have calm auras. Throughout each book, the author escalates in cutting out any unnecessary scenes. Also, the level of difficulty in each book doesn't increase very much in terms of vocabulary and context. This could be interpreted beneficially or negatively, depending on the reader. Upton's character is very curious and Upton can be interpreted as a role model for kids. I also love how new characters are introduced as it gives the reader the opportunity to favor different characters. In every new book, more characters are introduced which makes each novel more interesting and hooks the reader. The author also is very good at relieving the intensity of tension and suspense unlike the first and second books.

I almost feel as if each book is a bit too similar and has the same plot to some degree. Also, the situation Upton has to detect is not necessarily realistic but, could be possible, which is not bad but it is a bit clich´┐Ż. The second book is a little more of a fantasy. Some concepts are almost too difficult to grasp, not because it is a general difficult book but because of how they are written.

The moral of the story is "no matter what shape or size you are, you can achieve anything if you are determined and work hard for it." I recommend this book ages 6 to 10and rate the book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Upton Charles is a likable, and not your average every-day Detective. For one thing, he is an insightful dog that doesn't talk but narrates this story as he looks for clues and solves a mystery with his family. The mystery starts off as the family goes on a ski weekend trip to New Hampshire. The beginning of the story shows that Upton is not only insightful but has a sense of humor - canine humor that is! The mystery takes off a bit slow but there are interesting historical facts about Daniel Webster (not to be confused with Noah Webster and the Dictionary). And, the story teaches us that! The middle portion of the story speeds up when a stranger arrives. Is he good or bad? This is the most interesting part of this story. The story also has missing treasure and a valuable lesson to be learned about what treasure really is. Is treasure always something of monetary value? This is a great lesson for kids to learn. There is a twist in this story which makes it very entertaining as it leads to solving a mystery. This story is entertaining and educational with historical facts and valuable social lesson to be learned. The messages inherent in the story is that things do not always have to be worth a lot of money to be valuable.
Upton Charles and his family are in New Hampshire for a weekend ski vacation and our canine investigator meets three Saint Bernards. But it would not be an Upton Charles adventure without a mystery. Our sleuth is a Bichon Frise (that's "BEE-shon free-ZEY"), who is quickly on the trail of a long-lost treasure map, buried gold, and the papers of Daniel Webster. The fire is warm, but the case is never cold. Come along with Upton as he considers two-hundred-year-old clues to solve the mystery in Winter Wonderland.
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