The first in a new series of books that introduce a BAME main character to the world, Anisha Accidental Detective is the newly published debut title from Serena Patel. Anisha even has a sidekick in the form of best friend Milo, an unpopular redhead that lives a few houses away- which is also fantastic given that these characteristics are also quite rare in books, so this is one incredible debut for those with minority representation in children’s literature, and with the mystery awaiting the reader within it is quite the debut.
I absolutely adored meeting Milo in this story, and he impresses you with his sense of humour combined with his loyalty to Anisha, never questioning her when they team up to investigate the kidnapping of Anisha’s Uncle the day before his wedding day. The trust the pair have for each other is enviable, and they definitely make amazing role models for the readers intended for this book through the perseverance and determination they display throughout their mission to discover the culprits that have kidnapped Uncle Tony, and uncover the truth to everyone else involved.
Being introduced to Anisha leaves you feeling empowered as the reader, especially as she is such a strong and positive character. She has the utmost respect for her family – both immediate and extended, and her respectful characteristics make her instantly likeable, and leave you willing her to success as you embark on a journey of discovery alongside her. Anisha is an incredible role model for children that share the same culture and traditions as she does, and it is an incredibly special moment when you witness a child relating to the character on the books front cover, and within this story.
The traditions of Anisha’s culture are detailed in this debut, with footnotes giving explanations for different words, phrases and situations that are specific to her traditions and family, all of which has a heart felt genuineness to it, and adds to the sincerity of the scenes within the book. The illustrative content to the book is to be credited to illustrator Emma McCann, who helps bring the story to life in the imaginations of the readers enjoying this book, and they definitely will given that the illustrations reflect the humour, energy, and tension from within the story’s content.
This book also features different font styles throughout, which add to the dramatics playing out within, and give the reader a sense of the emotion that is relevant at the particular part of the story – humour, worry, sadness, guilt, etc. The change in fonts at time sin the book makes reading this title more interesting and fun, and will definitely appeal to the intended readers. Another interesting aspect of this book is the referencing to time, which gives the reader a sense of urgency to the task at hand, an indication of how much time has passed by and how long is left to the deadline set by the kidnappers, and this adds tension to the reading experience and ensures that readers remain hooked to the end, wondering if Anisha and Milo will discover the culprit before they run out of time.
With the next instalment just around the corner, Anisha Accidental Detective – Schools Cancelled publishes on 3rd September, young readers will be delighted to be reunited with this crime solving duo who bring humour to the situation they find themselves in, while offering the reader an authentic insight into the cultural aspects of the main characters life – something that is all to frequently overlooked in children’s literature, and yet something that is celebrated and encouraged within this book, in a way that does not overwhelm the intended audience whilst at the same time helping immerse them.
Anisha Accidental Detective was published on 5th March 2020 by Usborne and is consequently available to purchase at all good book shops.