Enigma: A Magical Mystery by Graeme Base, published by Harry Abrams, 2008.
The amazing illustrations in this book are masterpieces in themselves. Base cleverly presents several puzzles in Enigma, first the straightforward mystery withing the text, second, the clues hidden in the illustrations and finally, a secret to decode using the key at the back of the book. This decoding requires reading the story, finding a hidden clue in the picture and then turning three wheels to the correct position to unlock the decoding key. It was great fun.
This is the last Edgar finalist review in the "juvenile" category. Although this book was grouped with the others, it is definitely in a class by itself. The other finalists were all definitely middle grade novels, while this decidedly falls into the picture book category. Perhaps the Mystery Writers of America should consider adding a middle grade category or a picture book category to give these books a fair chance.