This cupcake mystery should make readers hungry for Wallace and Grace’s newest case.
Two animals request help from the avian gumshoes. Monty the chipmunk contends that Sal the groundhog stole his cupcake, a treat found right before the winter (the “hibernating” season, as explained by Grace, who “loved using big words”) began. Wallace shows off his knowledge by mentioning Feb. 2 as the day when “groundhogs wake up…to look for their shadow.” Sal swears he didn’t steal the confection and wants to hire the detectives to prove his innocence. After taking both cases, the partners start their investigation. Sounding like Sgt. Friday of old-time TV, Wallace tells Monty: “Give the facts and only the facts.” The owls try to find eyewitnesses, another important detection tool, but when they interview Nisha the snake, they realize that she didn’t see anything. The case becomes even more complicated with the introduction of Scarlet the cardinal and a fox that Grace thinks may be the “culprit.” Wallace and Grace gather clues until they solve the mystery and bring all the animal friends together for a party. With this outing, the series, begun in Wallace and Grace Take the Case (2017), is gaining momentum and providing a stronger plotline. Happy, cartoonish art appears in full color throughout.
With a little humor and its resourceful boy and girl owl friends, this provides a comfortable experience for newly independent readers. (Mystery. 6-8)