The Plot Thickens: Wednesday and Woof #1: Catastrophe

Are you ready to be overwhelmed by cuteness, charm, and positive disability representation? Then prepare to meet Walia Nadir, a young Black girl who has started her own detective agency with her adorable and four-legged co-partner Woof in Sherri Winston’s Wednesday and Woof #1: Catastrophe.

A new chapter book series, Wednesday and Woof starts off with a mystery-minded Walia scoping out potential mysteries from her headquarters, an old boat in her family’s backyard. Initially it looks like she’ll have to rustle up a mystery on her own, until she’s presented with a case of a missing cat. She sets off on this mission in no time, running into older kids whom she regards with suspicion, her nemesis, her best friend, and a few helpful grown-ups. Because she has juvenile arthritis, her father—one of the grown-ups who checks in with her throughout the story—is quick to remind her to take it slow as she wanders the neighborhood with her service pup, Woof. These are reminders Walia needs yet can’t help but be annoyed by as she feels that she manages her needs well without supervision. Through her pursuit of the missing cat mystery she pushes herself mentally and physically, learning when to trust her own judgment and when heed advice from others.

Early readers are sure to enjoy the exploration of independence during childhood while also helping others. Every beat of the story is well-paced, with well-thought plot advancement through dialogue and setting. An immersive and considerate read full of curiosity and support, I’m sure readers young and old will enjoy this adorable series. I, for one, look forward to Wednesday and Woof’s next case.