Saturday, May 26, 2012
Chapter Book Review: The Great Cake Mystery
The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case
Written by: Alexander McCall Smith
Illustrated by: Iain McIntosh
Published by: Anchor Books, 2012
Have you ever said to yourself, Wouldn’t it be nice to be a detective?
This is the story of an African girl who says just that. Her name is Precious.
When a piece of cake goes missing from her classroom, a traditionally built young boy is tagged as the culprit. Precious, however, is not convinced. She sets out to find the real thief. Along the way she learns that your first guess isn’t always right. She also learns how to be a detective.
* I have read several books from Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Books. When I found out that he was writing a children's chapter book I was very excited.
I borrowed this book from the library. My daughter and I have a tradition of taking turns reading from a chapter book while we wait for her bus to pick her up in the morning. We'll sit on the steps and depending on how much time it took to get ready, sometimes we'll be able to read only one page and sometimes we'll read four or more pages. So, it definitely takes us some time to get through a book, as was the case for this book.
My daughter has recently been interested in reading mysteries. She's been borrowing a lot of the Cam Jansen books from her teacher to read. So, I thought she'd enjoy this book. Precious wants to discover who's been stealing everyone's sweets. Everyone's blaming poor Poloko, but Precious believes his innocence and wants to prove it. Taking place in Botswana, there are many illustrations throughout this chapter book. I thought the story had some good lessons to be learned. For readers there is a character guide at the end. For teachers there is a guide in the back with pre- and post- reading activities, discussion questions, and curriculum connections. This was a mystery book that was refreshing and different than the normal "cookie-cutter" series types.
Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.