The Missing Masterpiece is the fourth picture book adventure for Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam, two dogs who transferred their affections from burglary to baking long ago – but crime still seems to follow them wherever they go! This time they’re off to…
‘Paris! So – ooh la la – smart,
with cafés and cheese shops
and fine works of art.’
They roll up at Galerie Bonbon to bake a gingerbread tower for a special exhibition. But an infamous art thief, sneaky fox Monsieur Sly, has made off with a precious painting, the Bone-a-Lisa! Cue a very daring race across Paris and along the Seine for Shifty and Sam. Will they retrieve the painting? And, just as importantly, will they still have time to rustle up their gingerbread tower?
I couldn’t possibly say. What I CAN say is that this is a gem of a book. Tracey Corderoy is the queen of rhyme and the text is sparky and laugh-out-loud funny, particularly during the exciting chase scene…
‘Beep beep! Shifty tooted and Sam gripped his seat,
as buns, tarts and croissants bounced off down the street!’
Steven Lenton’s pastel illustrations are as stylish as Paris itself, and readers will love finding the spider on every spread – I particularly enjoyed the spider glaring at the robber fox with “hands” on “hips”. There’s plenty for art lovers to spot and snort about too in Lenton’s pun-tastic pictures.