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The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case (Precious Ramotswe Mysteries for Young Readers) Hardcover – April 3, 2012
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“A detective is born! What a delightful, breezy read!"
—Mary Pope Osborne, bestselling author of The Magic Tree House series
“Told with an innocence that will captivate young readers, The Great Cake Mystery is a kind-hearted, feel-good story for all. Loved it!”
—Graham Salisbury, author of Under the Blood-Red Sun and the Calvin Coconut series
“Kids will love this kind and clever new detective. They’ll love the mystery, and they might even love the thieves. I look forward to more!”
—Patricia Reilly Giff, award-winning author of Wild Girl and other books
“Good for kids who like mysteries and stories about other cultures and friendship all packed into one.” —TIME for Kids magazine
“Stunning artwork. . . . A compelling plot and interesting secondary characters, especially classmates who are quick to make unfounded accusations and their teacher, who provides wisdom just when it is needed, will leave readers wanting more. One case where an adaptation from an adult book is as much fun to read as the original.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“This mini mystery and its jaw-dropping illustrations will please proto-detectives, both large and small. . . . What [McCall Smith]’s done with The Great Cake Mystery is unique. . . . His fans will pluck it up like so many of his other books. . . . A really fun read.”
—School Library Journal
"Bold and striking, McIntosh’s chunky, two-color woodcutlike pictures present evocative images of the African setting. This is a story, and a heroine, with impressive dimension."
- Publishers Weekly, starred review
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Precious' luck turns when a piece of cake goes missing from her school. Determined to locate it, she sets out to nab the culprit. She asks her friend Tapiwa many questions about where she lost the confection and when she noticed it was gone. Then the very next day, her classmate, Sepo, is missing his jam and bread sandwich. Although Sepo didn't actually see anyone take it, he instantly suspects that Poloko did the deed because Poloko is fat and probably has sticky fingers. Sepo and Tapiwa spread rumors that Poloko is a thief. Precious doesn't like the idea that an innocent person can take the blame for stealing and wonders how her classmates can turn on someone when there is no proof.
Upset and seeking to uncover the real culprit, Precious decides to look for evidence. As she hunts for clues during her walk home from school with Poloko, something enlightening happens: they see the wrongdoers! Precious is excited by this discovery, but knows that she must prove who the perpetrator is to her classmates. Now she just needs a clever plan to reveal the truth behind the crime. At night, she has a dream that brings to light a perfect way to trap and expose the crooks.Read more ›
One of the greatest pleasures of my life has been reading mystery stories with intent to solve the mystery before the author reveals the solution. Almost all authors play fair and provide enough information for you to figure it out on your own. I like best those stories that emphasize the mystery and some enduring lessons about loving one another, rather than the sensationalism that can permeate a lot of contemporary mystery fiction.
What a delight it was to discover The Great Cake Mystery and to realize that it's a perfect introduction to detective fiction for a youngster . . . whether a grandchild, a child, a niece, a nephew, or a little friend. I felt like buying a gross of this book and having them on hand to share with young readers.
The story centers on Precious Ramotswe as a child and how her interest in becoming a detective was launched. The story fits in well with the very first book in the adult series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, which emphasizes interaction with Africa . . . not just Africans . . . as the later stories tend to do.
The illustrations are particularly well chosen to increase interest and to provide context that someone who hasn't been to Africa might miss. I also appreciated the pronunciation tips. (I've been wondering how to say "Mma" ever since I first saw it in the series.)
You'll feel youthful delight in this story which delicately captures a child's world . . . without talking down to the child.
It's a major achievement from a masterful storyteller!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We thoroughly enjoyed this nice, quick read. It gave us an introduction to Precious and the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency! We enjoyed it much!Published 1 month ago by Blackgold347
A detective is born in the first book of an excellent new series of Precious Ramotswe mystery stories aimed at younger readers. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Michael Murphy
Having read all of the #1 Ladies Detective series, I was thrilled to see these stories of when the famous lady detective was a youth, written for young readers. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jennom
Nice to see the origins of Precious Ramotswe's detective bearings. Would like more short stories on how she met Mma Potakwane or how JLB Matekoni discovers his love for carsPublished 7 months ago by Aparna
I.ll send this book to my granddaughter, Sophia. She is going to like it a lot. It is about children Sophia.s age and how they learn an important lesson. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Suzanne M. Lowrie
Here's a gentle tale told for children - but which age of little girls? It's a mystery whose clue is given in its illustrations. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Carol Howe