September 15, 2021

Mr. Beagle and the Georgestown Mystery

Written and illustrated by Lori Doody
Running the Goat, Books & Broadsides
44 pp.
Ages 3-7
August 2021

Mr. Beagle first sniffed out a mystery in Mr. Beagle Goes to Rabbittown (2020) and brought his community of Rabbittown together in one of acceptance for diversity. Now Mr. Beagle is visiting his cousin Georgie in the neighbourhood of Georgestown and there's another mystery to solve. 
From Mr. Beagle and the Georgestown Mystery by Lori Doody
Enjoying a walk in the neighbourhood, Georgie tells Mr. Beagle of a spate of break-ins around Georgestown. But the cat burglar wasn't stealing valuables like money (piggy banks, actually) or art; they were taking storybooks. The residents of Georgestown were waking up to emptied bookshelves, saddened to realize there would be no more relaxing reads or bedtime stories for little ones.
From Mr. Beagle and the Georgestown Mystery by Lori Doody
Mr. Beagle puts his head to work to finding the cat burglar, looking throughout the community for possible suspects, from renovators and painters to line workers adept with tall ladders. But it's not until the cat burglar makes their way to Georgie's one night that Mr. Beagle realizes how wrong he was about the who and the why of the burglaries and helps makes things right for the neighbourhood.
From Mr. Beagle and the Georgestown Mystery by Lori Doody
Lori Doody consistently presents readers with important messages in quaint stories with playful settings and characters. She gives us the colour of a Newfoundland community with a diversity of characters–dogs, cats, rabbits, foxes, etc.–and reminds us not to judge too quickly. The end-papers (I used them as background for the book cover above) celebrate the diversity of individuals in Lori Doody's story, always reminding us that differences bring richness to a community. And that community is what is key to Lori Doody's stories. Here, not only does Mr. Beagle solve the mystery of the thefts, he finds a way to turn things around for the thief, get the books returned to their rightful owners and create a neighbourhood meeting place where books might be shared and celebrated by all. With the whimsy of its bold lines and shapes and the vibrancy of its colours and characters, Mr. Beagle and the Georgestown Mystery gives readers a lesson in ignoring appearances and stereotypes and celebrates the benefits of embracing all for the betterment of all. I'd say that's another victory and mystery solved for Mr. Beagle.

Author-illustrator Lori Doody talks about her new book in a short video posted at by publisher Running the Goat, Books & Broadsides.

Uploaded by RunningTheGoat on June 28, 2021 to YouTube.

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