Chasing Vermeer Character Essay

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Their burgeoning friendship is strengthened when a creative thief steals a valuable Vermeer painting en route to Chicago, their home town.

When the thief leaves a trail of public clues via the newspaper, Petra and Calder decide to try and recover the painting themselves.

In an added bonus, artist Brett Helquist has also hidden a secret pentomino message in several of the book’s illustrations for readers to decode.

An auspicious and wonderfully satisfying debut that will leave no young detective clueless.

Can you imagine working on a mystery that even the FBI can’t solve?

In Chasing Vermeer, Petra Andalee finds a book about odd occurrences that completely captures her interest and makes her start thinking.This book connects her to classmate and neighbor, Calder Pillay.Soon after their friendship begins strange things start to happen and they find connections between events that don’t seem related at first.Petra and Calder have such distinct personalities and I could relate to both of them in different ways.Before reading this book I had never heard of pentominoes, but after seeing the way Calder uses them to solve riddles I definitely want to get a set!It isn’t long before a Vermeer painting goes missing and Petra and Calder find themselves in the middle of an art scandal.As the mystery unfolds they must use their problem solving skills, research techniques, and their own unique strategies, like pentominoes, to try to find out “who done it”.I'd say this is a book you'd want to take your time with and keep aware of any possible clues that may come up.The illustrations have a lot to offer in telling the story and providing possible clues.When Calder Pillay travels with his father to a remote village in England, he finds a mix of mazes and mystery - including an unexpected Alexander Calder sculpture in the town square.Calder is strangely drawn to the sculpture, while others in the village have less-than-friendly feelings toward it.


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