With a combination of clues and logic, the Deductive Detective solves the case of Fox’s stolen cake.
Detective Duck determines that one of the 12 bakers in the cake contest is the thief. He’ll “find clues that will subtract each suspect until there is just one left.” The fact that Mouse’s itty-bitty cake is the largest she can carry eliminates her from the list. Duck crosses her name off his notepad, and a subtraction problem on the page shows that 12 suspects – 1 mouse = 11 suspects. Rooster was busy crowing at the time of the crime, and a few hairs at the scene provide evidence that Swan is not the thief. The trail leads to the kitchen, up onto a counter, out a smallish window and into a tree, therefore making the only suspect left…. Tongue-in-cheek wordplay and puns liven up the text: Pig quips, “Nothing good ever happens when I’m bakin’.” The only odd step is the reasoning behind Horse’s dismissal—the lights were out, and Horse “would never go into a dark room alone.” Rogers’ anthropomorphized animals walk on their hind legs and wear clothes, though many are quite realistic looking. Facial expressions are a bit hit-or-miss, but the body language makes up for that. Two pages of activities invite readers to test their deductive reasoning with a list of questions and to compare/contrast the attributes of the 12 suspects.
A cleverly solved mystery that will get kids using their noggins. (Picture book. 4-8)