[Book Review] The Case of the Sea World Adventure (The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley, #1) by Cathy East Dubowski

We're Mary-Kate and Ashley--the Trenchcoat Twins. Two super-duper snoopers who find mysteries to solve wherever we go! Even at Sea World!

Mom and Dad had to visit Sea World--and we went along! It was great. A mysterious person disappeared into thin air. And our only clue was a scary lady dressed in black.

No problem. We were on the case! The Case of the Sea World Adventure. So join us--you know what we say: Will solve any crime by dinner time.

Let's get one thing straight right off the bat: this book, and the video it's adapted from, is absolutely ridiculous. There are mimes. There's a nutty baby-sitter. Mary-Kate and Ashley perform a song and dance routine while dressed in penguin costumes. They make almost a hundred dollars from an impromptu street band performance and hire a limo to take them across town. The universe pretty much bends to their will, it seems.

But you know what? In spite of the sheer wtf of the plot, it's fun--for the target audience, at least.

Now, I'll go ahead and say that I'm a 90's girl. I grew up watching Olsen twin movies (and, later, their teen-targeted movies, as well). So I can't tell you if these books and their corresponding videos will appeal to kids of the 2010's the way they appealed to those of us who watched the videos shortly after they were produced. But it's always worth a try; they're fun, silly mysteries that definitely break an adult's suspension of disbelief but are just wacky enough to amuse a young child.

If you're interested in introducing your child to the Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley series, I personally suggest starting with the books before the videos; they're much more of an investment (speaking in terms of time spent) and don't really add anything to the viewing experience, so they might not hold much interest to a child who has already seen (and possibly wasn't particularly impressed by) the videos. Reading the books first and then watching an accurate visual representation, on the other hand... I'm no expert on teaching kids to read, but I'm sure there's some comprehension and visualization benefits to that, especially if they reread the books later.

Anyway, The Case of the Sea World Adventure should be a fun read for a young child, especially one who's a fan of the Olsen twins, the mystery genre, or Sea World.

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