Books to Share

  • Big Max by Kin Platt.
  • Case of the Hungry Stranger by Crosby Newell Bonsall.
  • Hunting The Daddyasaurus by Teresa Bateman.
  • Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg.

Books to Show and Booktalk

  • Aunt Eater Loves a Mystery by Doug Cushman.
  • Eggnapped! by Marisa Montes.


Invisible Detective

Using the artwork in this manual as a guide, create an invisible detective by suspending on fishing wire a detective hat, cap, gloves, and a magnifying glass. Create a face by suspending eyes, mouth, and even a "Sherlock Holmes" pipe from the hat. Display detective and mystery books.


I Am Detective Dog

(By Leila Raven Parrish. Sing to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell".)

I am detective dog,

I am detective dog.

Hi ho the library-oh,

I am detective dog.

I like to find things,

I like to find things.

Hi ho the library-oh,

I like to find things.

Oh look, there it is,

Oh look, there it is.

Hi ho the library-oh,

I am detective dog.

Where Oh, Where Has Detective Dog Gone?

(Adapted from traditional song by Leila Raven Parrish.)

Where oh where has detective dog gone?

Oh where or where can he be?

With his ears cut short,

And his tail cut long,

Oh where oh where can he be?

Action Rhyme

"Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar?"

(This traditional action song/rhyme can be sung or chanted. It is best played sitting in a circle. Clap hands then knees to keep fast-pace clapping rhythm. Nametags are helpful along with brief introductions. In each verse, insert the name of a child until all have been included. The leader may need to repeat the rhyme slowly two or three times until the group understands.)

All: Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

(repeat 3 times in rhythm)

Leader: Jenny stole the cookie from the cookie jar!

Jenny: Who, me?

All: Yes, You!

Jenny: Couldn't be!

All: Then who?

All: Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? (repeat 3 times)

Jenny: Sean stole the cookie from the cookie jar!

Sean: Who, me?

All: Yes, you!

Sean: Couldn't be!

All: Then who?

All: Who stole the cookie…

Story to Tell

"That Was Good! Or Was It!?" from Joining In by Teresa Miller.

Puppet Show

"The Case of the Disappearing Books" in One-Person Puppet Plays by Denise Anton Wright.

Puppet Story

Story Detectives

Use finger puppets and tell silly versions of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears", "Little Red Riding" and "Three Little Pigs" from Fun Puppet Skits for Schools and Libraries by Joanne Schroeder. Ask children to be "Story Detectives" and spot mistakes in your version of the story.


Detective Magnifying Glass


  • Small white paper plate
  • Jumbo craft stick
  • Tape
  • Marker, pens, and/or pencils


In advance, cut the centers out of the paper plates, leaving only the outer ring about one to two inches thick. Children tape a craft stick to the paper plate ring and decorate the front to create a magnifying glass.

Adult/Child Craft

Detective Derby


  • Newspaper
  • Masking Tape
  • Scissors
  • Feathers


If adults generally do not attend with the children, solicit staff and volunteers to help create hats as the children arrive. To make the crown of the hat, unfold several double sheets of newspaper. Place the paper on the top of the child's head, fanning out the sheets in different directions. Form the crown of the hat by gathering the paper all the way around the child's head at eyebrow level and wrapping the base of the crown with a long piece of masking tape. Reinforce with a second layer of tape. To style it into a detective derby, trim an inch or two from the brow band and adorn it with a feather.


Magnifying Glass

Give each child a plastic magnifying glass to take home.

Scent Detectives

Bring 4 or 5 bottles of spices or extracts such as cinnamon and clove and vanilla and orange extract. Ask the child to smell them and guess what they are. If they cannot guess, give them a clue such as, "It's delicious on toast with butter and sugar." Or, make a card with a picture of a common food that includes the ingredient. Reward all of the children with stickers or other trinkets.

Guest Speakers

Invite a police officer to bring his or her police dog and patrol car to the library and talk to the children.

Web Site

Oriental Trading Company

Professional Resource

One Person Puppet Plays by Denise Anton Wright.


Texas Reading Club 2003 Programming Manual / Mission Possible Spy Book!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011