Book Review by Cameron Macintosh: Nursery Crimes Case 1 (Baaa Baa Black Sheep – The Fleeced Fleece)

June 15, 2020

Book one in John Barwick’s Nursery Crimes series is an hilarious twist on the fractured fairytales genre that will have huge appeal for both confident and reluctant readers aged 7–10. This is more than just a quirky retelling of a nursery rhyme – it stretches the old Baa Baa Black Sheep rhyme into a crime story with multiple twists and surprises, not to mention delicious puns. Adult readers will also enjoy Barwick’s knack for gently poking fun at fairytale tropes and clichés.

With the help of amateur detective Little Miss Muffet, Baaa Baa seeks to find out why her precious black wool is being given away for free to suspicious folks like a master, a dame and a little boy who lives down a certain lane nearby. In the course of investigations, Little Miss Muffet and Baaa Baa uncover a network of felonious fairytale folk with sinister intentions – but can their plans be foiled?

Illustrator Dave Atze is clearly in his element with this kind of text. His illustrations, which appear on most spreads, add to the story’s fun and humour and beautifully complement Barwick’s clear, comical writing.

Highly recommended for readers 7+.

Nursery Crimes: Case 1 (Baaa Baa Black Sheep – The Fleeced Fleece)

Big Sky Publishing

ISBN 978-1-925675-99-3

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