Tag Archives: Investigator Anne

NEW! Mary Reads Sight Word Books

This is the beginning of a fun new series for beginning readers.books

These are early sight word readers designed for kids who are learning how to read. The first part of each book has a series of “flashcard” words to practice and learn. The last part of each book has a fully illustrated storybook that uses sight words learned with the “flashcards.” Throughout the book, the Mary character gives encouragement and helpful hints with those certain “tricky” words. These books were inspired by my own Mary and the character in these books is the younger sister of Anne, from the “Investigator Anne” series for older readers.  Just click HERE to see the books on Barnes & Noble.  Just $.99 each!

To see all of my books, click HERE.

NEW eBook! Investigator Anne: Case #2 Sneaky Sneakers

Investigator Anne and her friends have another exciting mystery on their hands! Join the adventure! You can purchase this eBook for just $.99 online at Barnes & Noble.  Click the image to see more details at B&N.


In this book, Anne’s little sister, Mary, loses her purple glow-in-the-dark sneakers. As the Gumshoe Crew investigates, they discover the mystery is bigger than they ever imagined! They use their great investigator skills and imaginative problem-solving abilities to uncover the truth about an unexpected, shoe-snatching culprit.


Throughout the adventure, there is a subtle science emphasis. In this book, the emphasis is about the concept of friction. The book includes a glossary of terms, and a fun do-at-home science activity about friction. Your kids will love reading this book, and they will learn about science and problem-solving along the way.

NEW eBook! Investigator Anne

I’m SO excited!  My first eBook is now available on Barnes&Noble.com.  Mark and I wrote the book together, and I illustrated it.

You might have guessed it.  This book is totally inspired by my oldest daughter, Anne.

Sometimes we really do call her “Investigator Anne,”  especially when there’s a case to be solved…like a missing ballet slipper.

…Or when there’s mysterious rabbit tracks in the backyard.

Or when a ball has been missing from the wacky popper toy for months…

Here she is decoding the secret message for a geo-cache box location.

She even has a “Case Book.”  This is the page where she wrote down her ideas about capillary action.

This page is about the case of a missing shoe.  No, not the ballet slipper, a different shoe.  We have a lot of missing shoe cases like that. :)

Whatever the case, Anne’s there to scope it out.

I made this “Investigator Kit” for her one Christmas.  It’s got all the clue-solving essentials.

Here she is studying the facts on an old pocket pc.  She has pictures of animals, animal tracks, and science charts on there.
Since we have so many mysteries around here, Anne stays pretty busy.

So back to the eBook.

This idea has been mulling in my head for quite awhile.  Mark and I had so much fun writing it and I loved illustrating it.  This book is a beginning level chapter book for young readers who are ready for their first chapter books.

Here’s a little sneak peak at a few other pages in the book…

There is a subtle science emphasis as “Investigator Anne” and her friends look for clues to find her mom’s missing watch.  The kids discover science around them while they work together to solve problems and develop ideas.

Find this book on sale, exclusively at Barnes&Noble.com.

Halloween Book Review

On Halloween afternoon, we headed to my sister’s house to see their amazing outdoor Halloween decorations.  We went inside to chat for a bit, and not to my surprise my sister was already decked out in her Halloween costume and she had these cute books on her table.  She is a children’s librarian and always knows the ins and outs about the cutest and most clever books for kids.  My kids love it when she reads to them and this occasion was no different.  Pretty soon the kids swarmed around her while she read these cute books.

Twisted Sistahs

Written by Mark Kimball, Illustrated by Karen Hillard Good

“Twisted Sistahs” is a story about the fictional first Halloween.  Three witch sisters throw a big party and invite all the men in the land–like Frankenstein and Dracula, and Jack-o-Lantern.  The sisters help each other prepare for the ghoulish party and advise each other on the perfect outfit and creepy crawly accessories.  They play music and fun games at the party, like bobbing for apples (green apples with worms in them).  The party is such a success, the witch sisters decide to have a party every year on the same night and call it Halloween.  The entire story is told in rhyme with clever phrases and funny, imaginative descriptions.

Room On The Broom

Written by Julia Donaldson, Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

“Room On The Broom” is a cute witch story too.  I smiled at this because maybe I identify with her.  She’s a not-so-bad person really, but still a witch.  Doing her best to hold it together, she keeps losing things.  Each time she runs into a mini crisis, she meets someone who is there at just the right moment to help her out.  Each new friend hops on to the not-so-roomy broom.  Pretty soon the broom snaps, and the witch finds herself in trouble when she crashes into a big bad dragon.  In the end her new friends come up with a creative rescue plan.  When all is well again, everyone gathers ingredients to put in the witches caldron.  “Iggety, ziggety, zaggety, ZOOM!  Then out rose a truly magnificent broom!” The crew then flies off in a new and improved, extra long, deluxe broom–with built in seats for everyone.

Investigator Anne

Introducing our mystery-solving adventurer…Investigator Anne!

I don’t even know when she first became our Investigator–she’s just always loved solving problems and figuring things out.  If there’s ever a mystery to be solved around here, I know who to go to–the one and only, Investigator Anne!

For example, the other night we had a “Missing Sippie Cup Mystery.”  (Everyone has a drink by their bed at night, and when they crawled into bed that particular night, the drinks were mysteriously gone!)  I heard Anne call out, “Mom, the drinks are gone, and Eliza looks suspicious…I think I better investigate!”

So out came the “Kit”–the Investigator Kit.

Looking for clues…

Searching high and low…

CLUES:  (1) Eliza running into her room with her hand behind her back.  (2) Eliza closing the door fast.  (3)  Water on Eliza’s face…

This mystery wasn’t too hard for Investigator Anne to figure out.  Yep, she found three waters on Eliza’s night stand.

And when the culprit was confronted…well…

She played cute and innocent…

But was confirmed to be the presumed “Sippie Cup Snatcher.”

“But I like 3 waters Mom…” is all she could say.  Sorry ‘Liza, just one tonight, but I’ll give you lots of kisses just for being so cute.  Funny girl.

Okay, the Case of the Missing Sippie Cups is solved!  Good work Investigator Anne!

The Investigator Anne Kit

Our mystery solver has been solving mysteries for as long as I can remember.  Last Christmas I thought it would be fun to create her own kit for her.  I designed her logo and put this bag together.  I actually found the satchel online, but it was way too big, and I had to cut it down and re-sew parts of it to make it the way I wanted.

Inside holds the very important clue-finding, mystery solving tools:

The Clue Book, magnifying glass, mini maglight, pen and pencil, a compass, a camera, and Mr. Everything’s old Pocket PC (which we filled with hundreds of photos of animals, animal tracks, maps, pictures of leave varieties, and things like that.  She also uses the Pocket PC to write down little bits of information or clues as well as her clue book).

This pic shows the compass and smaller logo under the front flap.  The little keys are for her other journal.

She also has a nifty Science Experiment Book.

Sometimes Anne’s mysteries have been scientific, like when she read about capillary action in her Science Experiment Book. She and her sisters had me buy carnations and then tried the experiment for themselves.  Here is Anne’s Clue Book log of capillary action predictions and discoveries.  She even took the photo with her camera and glued it in the Clue Book.

And below is her account of when I was missing a shoe…

One day last Fall, we had a “Case of the Missing White Ballet Slipper.” (That is also another story that I’ll get to at another time–about Mary Tutu.”)

Here, Investigator Anne wore the investigating cape.

Need the Clue Book…

The Ballet slipper was a tough mystery, but was later found deep in the extra closet beneath all the dressup clothes (not in the ballet bag where they are supposed to be).

Oh, and here she is on another case, looking for bunny tracks…

Sometimes she asks me if I have any mysteries that need to be solved.  Sometimes I do, and sometimes the biggest mystery is what might be under the couch.  So she investigates…

The mini maglight is very useful for this kind of case.

She sometimes has to get extra tools.  Here she uses a long-handled spoon for reaching.

There it is!!! Wow! That little ball belongs to another toy and we’ve been looking for it for months!  Way to go Investigator Anne!

Along with being a mystery-solver herself, Anne also loves mystery-solving books.  Right now, her favorite series include Magic Tree House, Cam Jansen, Flat Stanley, and A-Z Mysteries.  She pretty much devours them, and now is reading almost two a day!

She’s read an amazing number of books this year and won two books from the school librarian for her accomplishment!  Way to go Anne!

Well, if any of you know me well, you might guess I’ve got a book in the making…

With Anne’s love of books and her investigating skills, I just have to write her a chapter book…working on it.

Anne knows this, and for “Dress as your favorite storybook character Day” last year, she dressed up as, well, Investigator Anne!  Storybook characters in the making count, right?  Yes, I think so.