Watts and Whiskerton: Buried Bones and Troublesome Treasure by Meg McLaren

Watts and Whiskerton: Buried Bones and Troublesome Treasure – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Cats, dogs, detectives, friendships, confidence.
Children’s book title: Watts and Whiskerton: Buried Bones and Troublesome Treasure.
Children’s author and illustrator: Meg McLaren.
Genre: Children’s fiction.
Published by: Piccadilly Press.
ISBN: 9781800786592.
Recommended for children aged: 5+ year-olds.
First published: Paperback July 2024.
This children’s book is ideal for: any younger readers who want a fun, entertaining read with great illustrations, an exciting storyline, and a reassuring message.

Watts and Whiskerton: Buried Bones and Troublesome Treasure by Meg McLaren

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Our review:

This is a great read which is just the right size for smaller hands. It is also very tactile, with slightly thicker pages than usual.

Watts is a young dog whose parents are world-renowned investigators. Undecided as to whether he wants to follow in their footsteps or instead become a writer, he decides to go for a holiday rather than help his parents with their next case.

Watts is invited to stay with Count Whiskerton and his daughter, Pearl, who is the same age as him and they soon become firm friends. When it becomes clear the Count’s precious rose beds have been disturbed, Watts and Pearl begin to investigate, even though he is supposed to be on holiday!

Then a strange bone is discovered, as the foundations are being dug for a new swimming pool, and, after archaeologists are called in, Watts and Pearl offer to help them identify what dinosaur it’s from. When Watts and Pearl visit the local museum with Doctor Arty Fact they not only learn about a missing, very valuable, golden apple but also realise their newly dug-up bone is decidedly suspicious. Now the vacationing Watts has four investigations to solve! How did that happen?

Our verdict:

Sometimes it’s hard to believe in yourself especially when you think those you look up to are so much better than you at something. Meet Watts, a sweet main protagonist, who lacks confidence in his investigating abilities, believing his parents are far more successful than he is. Pearl, is the polar opposite. Talkative and confident, she leaps into cases with enthusiasm and takes Watts along with her. Writing everything down helps Watts decipher the clues and his notes appear at the end of each chapter to tie things together.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. It isn’t something I think about in general, but this lovely, fun book is very tactile with slightly smaller and thicker pages than expected. These two things increased the pleasurable experience of reading this book. The format itself is a merger between a comic book and a normal children’s novel. This makes each page look welcoming and easy to understand, which is brilliant for less confident readers.

Teaching points and book club discussion ideas:

  • The notes at the end of each chapter and the illustrations throughout could be used as a starter for how to write about something which has happened recently at school, such as sports day.
  • The differing ways of investigating and finding out about things could be compared. How many would write or draw their notes as Watts does and how many would rush in like Pearl?
  • Watts and Whiskerton could be used to delve into the world of archaeology and the treasures that can be discovered along with what makes something special or valuable in the first place.

Many thanks to Piccadilly Press for the review copy.

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If you like Watts and Whiskerton: Buried Bones and Troublesome Treasure by Meg McLaren you might also like: our reviews of Lily Halfmoon: The Witches’ Council by Xavier Bonet, Dungeon Runners: Hero Trial by Kieran Larwood & Joe Todd-Stanton, How to be a Genius Kid by Waldo Pancake, The Tindims of Rubbish Island and the Deep Sea Treasure by Sally Gardner & Lydia Corry and Beti and the Little Round House by Atinuke.

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About Tracy Wood

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I am a voracious reader and used to be a learning support assistant in a senior school for eight years before leaving to home school my now adult daughter. I have ten grandchildren who I love reading to and spending time with. Reviews by Tracy Wood