HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Winky Solves a Mystery
Author: Ken Anderson
Publisher: Kessinger Publishing LLC, republished 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1168770950 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1168770955 Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1163191231 Paperback
ISBN-10: 116319123X Paperback
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 9-14
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Anderson, Ken. Winky Solves a Mystery (Published in 1948 by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI). Young Warren Wilcox, known as Winky, lives on a ranch near the town of Foothills, CO, with his mother, his Grandpa and Grandma Wilcox, his pet bull dog Boston, his pony Mustang, and his grandfather’s two farm hands Panhandle and Red. Winky’s dad works for the government in South America. His best friend at school is Bobby Anker, but his favorite person on the ranch is Panhandle. One morning, he sees a khaki colored bag on Panhandle’s table. It is full of money and has the name of Albert Morgan, a wealthy neighbor rancher, on it. Later that day, Winky learns that Mr. Morgan’s safe deposit at the Foothills Bank was robbed. Then he finds that Panhandle has left for Denver after receiving a letter from a friend begging for money.
Did Panhandle rob the bank? Where did the money in the bag come from? Why did Panhandle really leave, and will he ever return? What should Winky do? Author Ken Anderson was first a minister with the Evangelical Free Church in Minnesota and Nebraska. Then he became involved in the newly formed Youth For Christ and served as their first full-time Magazine Editor. Next he became connected to a fledgling organization called Baptista Films, where he wrote and then directed his first film drama. Later he launched Gospel Films where over 200 Christian films have been produced since then, including original dramas for many foreign countries. Also Ken began a writing career that spanned seven decades, with 77 books published, at least one per decade, and nineteen books alone published in the 40’s.
Winky Solves a Mystery is a fun and exciting story for middle grade and early teen readers that emphasizes Biblical principles. The conclusion says, “Being a Christian did help people live honest lives. Winky believed that more than ever, now!” There is nothing objectionable. It is the kind of tale that I dearly loved to read when I was a boy. I found my copy at a used book store. There are ten books in the “Winky Series,” of which it is the fourth. The first three are Winky Lost in the Rockies, Winky Mountain Detective, and Winky Meets the Gypsies. The subsequent titles are Winky Meets the Mysterious Stranger, Winky and the Ghost Lion, Winky Captures the Cattle Rustlers, Winky and the Enchanted Forest, Winky and the Short Wave Radio, and Winky’s Big Surprise.