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Chasing Vermeer
Author: Blue Balliett -- Illustrator: Brett Helquist

Three mysterious letters are received by three different people. "Tell no one or your life will be in danger," each warned after asking their help in solving a centuries-old crime.

Calder and Petra step into this real-life mystery, getting tangled in a deepening web of coincidences, questions, suspicions, and puzzles after an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Will their eccentric teacher be able to guide the class to construct a new understanding of Vermeer's work? Will Calder find any answers in his set of pentominoes? Can YOU solve Calder's puzzles? Will the Lady in the picture speak to Petra? Will you be able to break the code in Brett Helquist's illustrations? Grab your pencil and your detective notebook before you get started--you don't want to get lost in the tangle!

Research Links for Chasing Vermeer

Scholastic: Chasing Vermeer
Printable Pentominoes & Grid
National Gallery of Art Kids Homepage
Chasing Vermeer: A Mystery within a Mystery
Pentomino Necklace
Questions without Answers
Book Review from Kadon Enterprises

Play Pentominoes Online
Single Click Pentominoes Puzzle
Essential Vermeer

Stolen Works of Art

Alexander Calder
(Could the main character be named after him?)

Pentomino Necklace

Other Masterpieces
that support Chasing Vermeer

Dance Class at the Opera
by Edgar Degas
You can purchase the Kids' Wings 20-page Kids' Wings Unit for Chasing Vermeer by Andrea White NOW for immediate download for only $11.95! Sharable within your school! Click Here to Purchase and Download.

The Kids Wings 22-page literature guide is perfect for lesson plans, handouts, or projection on your SmartBoard.

This Kids Wings Activity Guide Contains:
Discover How to Make a Set of Pentominoes
Dialectical Journal
Making Connections: A Pre- and Post-Reading Chapter Discussion Guide
Questions Without Answers
Petra and Calder, Multiple Choice Comprehension
Comparison of Petra and Calder
Famous Masterpieces
Who's Who Crossword Puzzle
Bright Idea! Use Calder’s Code on page 57 to decipher this message.
Wise Words! Use Calder’s Code on page 57 to decipher this message.
Picturing Words in Pairs
Multiple Choice Vocabulary Check
Art Project/Writing Prompt
The Trail of Clues
Research: Will the REAL Vermeer Please Stand Up?
Pentomino Words
Five in a Row Vocabulary Game
Writing Prompts
Answer Pages

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Kids Wings 5-Star Rating:

(Symbolizing high moral character in literature)

A special thanks to G. Jones for the original background music,"Kaleidoscope"!



More Award-Winning Books for 2005-2006

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Interdisciplinary Learning Units for Grades 3-7 are available in the new publication: 

Light in the Darkness,

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"Texas Bluebonnet AwardSM is a service mark of the Texas Library Association, which is in no way affiliated with Kids' Wings or Suzy Red. Use of the Texas Bluebonnet Award mark in Kids' Wings web pages and/or materials does not imply any endorsement of any kind on behalf of the Texas Library Association. The Texas Bluebonnet Book Master ListSM was selected by the Texas Bluebonnet Award Committee of the Texas Library Association."