Young Precious Ramotswe again shows why she eventually grows up to be the founder of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.
Aunty Bee has invited Precious to visit her in the beautiful Okavango Delta. The little detective arrives at Eagle Island Camp to discover that a film company is making a movie there. Precious makes friends with Khumo, and together they follow the crew. The star of the movie is a trained lion named Teddy, and soon Khumo and Precious find themselves part of the film crew by making animal noises to prompt Teddy to act. But though Teddy is a trained lion, the allure of the bush proves too tempting, and he disappears. The owners fret over the loss, and everyone is worried about his ability to survive in the bush. Precious’ powers of observation, spectacular guinea-fowl impression and sense of doing the right thing come to the rescue again. McIntosh’s detailed, black-and-white illustrations add an old-fashioned air to the story. The straightforward plot, easy vocabulary and compelling setting make this a perfect step up from early chapter books. That McCall Smith brings a great sense of fun to his prose heightens the appeal: Precious’ guinea-fowl impression sounds “a bit like the noise a hen makes, only it was a bit more…well, spotted.”
Precious’ keen sense of right and wrong will inspire readers; her powers of observation may inspire budding detectives. (Mystery. 7-11)