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The Birthday Surprise

Written by Clara Vulliamy

Illustrated by Clara Vulliamy

Part of the Dotty Detective Series

Books of the Month Crime / Mystery Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 7+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Recommended Children's eBooks

LoveReading View on The Birthday Surprise

January 2018 Book of the Month

In a nutshell: thoroughly charming mini-mysteries in school and family setting

It’s no mystery why the Dot McCluskey stories are so popular: Dot is a wonderfully lively central character and her friendly direct-to-reader narratives put them at the centre of her busy world. Dot and best friend Beans like nothing better than solving mysteries and there are two in her new adventure: the mystery of a missing card and the mystery of Dot’s birthday party – just what is her mum planning? Dot’s warm, loving home life is beautifully described and her school day is just as recognisable and as fun. With Clara Vulliamy’s own black and white illustrations complementing the text this is a joy, and perfect for newly independent readers.  ~ Andrea Reece

Fans of Dot’s adventures will also enjoy Wendy Quill’s escapades, as described by Wendy Meddour.

Publisher, Ruth Alltimes says: “Dot is destined to be the new ‘book-best-friend’ of young girls everywhere; she is impishly funny, aspirational and so full of curiosity that girl readers will be drawn into her world of mini mysteries! Clara Vulliamy's signature stylish, witty artwork creates an irresistible young fiction package.”

LoveReading4Kids

The Birthday Surprise Synopsis

Dot, her best friend Beans and her dog McClusky all love sniffing out a good mystery and together they will solve the case and save the day . . . Dotty is sporty, funny, creative, clever and FEARLESS: She is great with codes and puzzles and most of all - if there's a mystery to solve - she's your girl. This time round her trusty sidekick, Beans and TOP DOG, McClusky are keeping secrets from Dotty - will she like their surprise?

The Birthday Surprise Reader Reviews

Some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review the first Dotty Detective story. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Serena Mazin, age 8 - 'It is a super book about solving mysteries. It is a quick read with fun sketches of Dot and of course her faithful friend a dog called McCluskey.'
  • Evie Meredith, age 6 - 'I would give this 10/10! The book is about a girl called Dotty and she moves house and find things are missing.'
  • Bethany McNeil, age 8 - 'Dotty Detective was a great book. I liked how the words were written in different styles and how the pictures were created...It's an amazing book to read!'
  • Aminah Kauser, age 10 - 'A quick and easy read that I enjoyed so much.'
  • Mia Schader, age 9 - 'If you like solving crimes and being a detective you will love this book, it’s funny too!'
  • Cassandra Butler, age 6 - 'This book was amazing and I really enjoyed it. Dotty has just moved and has to start at a new school as the new kid, but makes friends with Ben (Beans) and they become detectives!'
  • Sophie Bridges, age 13 - 'I think Dotty Detective by Clara Vulliamy is a good book, with a good story line. However, being 13 years old I think the book is a bit young for my age.'
  • Aarav Mehta, age 7 - 'It's funny, it's mysterious and you will be puzzled for a long time.'
  • Ruby Laverty, age 6 - 'It was good!!  I liked how Dot solved the mystery.'
  • Daniel Bisland, age 8 - 'I recommend it to 6-7+ good readers who like to solve mysteries!'
  • Martha Cox, age 7 - 'A fun story about being a detective!'
  • Abi Zinkin, age 6 - 'This was a really lovely story about a girl who thinks she can be a detective, but she's also starting a new school after moving house, and she's making new friends, but it's not sad at all, just fun.'
  • Lauren Evans, age 10 - 'it is a quick and easy book which I would recommend to ages 5+...I loved it!'
  • Elliot Bateman, age 8 - 'The book is good for boys and girls...Dotty is fun, friendly and funny and I really liked her.'

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780008248413
Publication date: 11/01/2018
Publisher: HarperCollins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008248413
Publication date: 11th January 2018
Author: Clara Vulliamy
Illustrator: Clara Vulliamy
Publisher: HarperCollins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 160 pages
Suitable for: 7+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Crime / Mystery, Family / Home Stories
Recommendations: Books of the Month, eBooks, Reviewed by Children

About Clara Vulliamy

Clara Vulliamy was born in London, the daughter of author and illustrator Shirley Hughes and her husband, John Vulliamy. She studied at Chelsea School of Art, The Ruskin and the Royal Academy. Clara started concentrating on writing and illustrating children's books when she had children of her own and has now written and illustrated many stories for children and babies. She lives in Twickenham, with her husband and their children Jack and Martha and three guinea pigs.

More About Clara Vulliamy

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