Sunday, December 16, 2007

Critical Analysis of Books by Mary Pope Osborne

Mary Pope Osborne’s vivid imagination inspires her to write these wonderful adventures. She gains inspiration from her surroundings and turns everyday experiences into adventures for children. The Spider Kane mysteries are a mini-series consisting of two books full of adventure, suspense, kidnappings, and the insect world. In the Spider Kane mysteries Osborne brings insects to life by giving them a human touch.

The first book “Spider Kane and the Mystery Under the May-Apple” takes you on an adventure to solve the case of a missing butterfly. Leon, a butterfly, discovers that his new girlfriend Mimi has vanished. With the advice of his ladybug friends he contacts Spider Kane, the brilliant detective of the insect world. With the help of Spider Kane, Leon and his lady bug friends discover Mimi was kidnapped and work together to solve the mystery of Mimi’s secretive past and her kidnapping.

The next adventure Osborne takes you on is called “Spider Kane and the Mystery at Jumbo Nightcrawler’s.” Here you’ll discover more than one mystery blended into one. This exciting adventure is full of twists and turns as Spider Kane’s friends are kidnapped, ant’s gold is stolen, and disguised bugs surround them. It is not up to Spider Kane and his comrade Leon to solve the case and bring their friends home safely.
These two books are very similar because for one is the continuation of the other. Osborne has done an exceptional job writing these two mysteries. They both start off with one of the main characters, Leon, in a dilemma. Once he has realized this is a huge problem Leon goes to an expert, Spider Kane. In both books you can see the problem is explained in the beginning followed by details and clues helping you solve the case. Children can really enjoy reading while trying to solve the case before Spider Kane does. Osborne leaves clever clues for the reader to follow which makes both these books very exciting. Details are cared for in both books. Having read one after the other I saw that little details were attended to. Things like colors of people dresses, jewelry, feelings and emotions were all maintained in the sequel.

Ultimately there aren’t many differences because Osborne has maintained the same formula she used for the first one. The only difference would be the second book is more complex than the first. The mystery isn’t one fold like the first book there are many components to the second mystery. Aside from it’s complexity there are no major differences between the two books. I believe their similarity is a wonderful plus point to this series. The style is maintained throughout both books allowing the second to truly be a sequel. Unlike many other authors whose books in a series differs from one another Osborne is an expert series writers and is able to maintain the similarities.
Both books are written in a exceptional manner and are a great read. They were very entertaining and engross the reader. They're definitely good mysteries that children would take the utmost joy in reading and solving. Personally I enjoyed the second book much better than the first because of the thrill and excitement posted in the second one. The first one is a bit slow and more of an introduction to the characters. Whereas the second book is a marvelously written and full of twists and turns as any mystery should be. Overall I think Osborne has done a terrific job with these books as she does with her Magic Tree House books. Her creative imagination truly does take you on a unique trail with these books.

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