Dakota Crumb: Tiny Treasure Hunter
Jamie Michalak, Author
Kelly Murphy, Illustrator
Candlewick Press, Fiction, Jun. 23, 2021
Suitable for ages: 3-7
Themes: Animals, Mouse, Adventure, Art, Museum
Opening: “In the Great, Big City, / in the great big museum, / a clock tick-tocks past midnight. / Doors are locked. / Guards keep watch. / All is still, until…”
In the dark of night, in the big museum, a tiny creature emerges from the shadows. Who is this mouse of mystery? It’s Dakota Crumb, scurrying through the great halls, hunting for treasure with a map in and sack in hand. Hundreds of eyes peer from paintings and follow this mouse as she searches for a famous priceless treasure, that is hidden somewhere in the museum and is marked with an X on her map.
Along the way she spots other treasures left behind by daytime’s human visitors and Dakota pops them in her sack. Will this be the night she will finally find the purple jewel of Egypt she’s been searching for? The sun is rising and off she scampers into her mouse home. And what a home it is!
Why I like this story:
What a delightful and entertaining picture book that will remind readers of the “Night in the Museum” theme. Children will love the suspense of what is lurking around each gallery corner, as Dakota makes her way past exhibits of knights in armor, frozen statues, stuffed animals, pyramids and mummies.
Readers will enjoy guessing just what she does with all the hidden treasures in her mouse hole. Such a clever story with beautiful double-page illustrations that support her nightly journey. Kelly Murphy’s eye-popping art really gives the reader a sense of drama and movement as Dakota scampers about. At the end of the story, readers will get a peek at Dakota’s list of treasures and can go on their own seek-and-find hunt looking for a lot of the treasures on her list. This is a perfect read aloud.
Resources: Kids will have fun searching for all of the hidden items in the book on Dakota’s list. Parents can help them invent their own rainy-day treasure inside the house or outside. I use to hide items with clues that kids can follow to find the treasures in our yard. A nature theme would be fun for outside.
Jamie Michalak is the author of numerous books for children, including the Joe and Sparky series, and Frank and Bean. Jamie lives in the smallest state, Rhode Island.