Mystery is my #1 favorite genre. From Enid Blyton’s Five Find-Outers and Famous Five to Encyclopedia Brown and Agatha Christie… Even now as an adult I still love whodunnits!
I’d like to share my love for mysteries with my son but they are rare for this age group. He LOVED Nate the Great (in English) when he was 4.5:
So I bought him this lovely set of bilingual Nate the Great books:
Alas, these continue to be unread, untouched, and unloved to date. I learned the hard way that Little Man refuses anything in Chinese that he’s already read in English. 😕
The only other detective series I’ve found for preschoolers is… 屁屁侦探 (Butt Detective)! Thank you to the mom who recommended it to me as one of the books her 5 y.o. daughter loves. Little Man loves them too because who doesn’t love a butt-faced Detective??!
The Simplified Chinese version comes with four books (for some reason in Traditional Chinese there are FIVE books, there is a black one that is not available in Simplified. WHY?!). Each book has a kid-friendly mystery like missing ball, stolen treats, etc. and you help Butt Detective solve them by looking for clues.
Every page is fun and interactive as it has an “I Spy” or a maze. The illustrations are typical Japanese style – very cute!
Of course, the best part is when Butt Detective catches the bad guy, he makes a big stinky fart (噗 is pronounced pū. I learned this character from reading this book) and the bad guy faints from it.
I love this series because it introduced Little Man to a lot of detective vocabulary like 委托人 (client), 案件 (case), 可疑 (suspicious), 线索 (clues), 绑架 (kidnap) and many other words that he did not know before. These books look deceptively simple but actually have a lot of advanced vocabulary. Really good for building Chinese language skills. 🙂
This is Little Man’s favorite page… finding 10 butts in the picture. If you enlarge the picture, you’ll see that it says “把10个屁股的图案找出来吧!” 😂
I really want to find more mysteries appropriate for young children. Please share if you know any!
Buy from: Taobao (you know this is where I get everything) or Maha Yuyi in Singapore