by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, illustrated by Marc Simont
I, Nate the Great, am a busy detective. One morning I was not busy. I was on my vacation. I was sitting under a tree enjoying the breeze with my dog, Sludge, and a pancake. He needed a vacation too. My friend Claude came into the yard. I knew that he had lost something. Claude was always losing things…”I lost the grocery list I was taking to the grocery store. Can you help me find it?” “I, Nate the Great, am on my vacation,” I said. “When will your vacation be over?” “At lunch.”
With trusty dog in tow (and a plate of pancakes never too far away), Nate the Great sets out to find a Missing Grocery List. And much to his chagrin, his strange, cat-loving neighbor, Rosamond, is embroiled. No secrets in the attic here; Nate’s mysteries are always quite gentle. Misunderstandings are typically to blame rather than evil villains. The real draw for kids will be Nate’s independence;he’s got the run of the town — including the dump! — with no parents in sight. Grown-ups will dig Nate’s resolve, resourcefulness, and penchant for speaking in soft-boiled detectivese.