THE CASE OF THE MISSING CARROT CAKE

From the Wilcox & Griswold Mystery series

Here’s hoping for more hard-boiled detecting from Wilcox and Griswold! (Mystery. 5-9)

Two police mice, one missing cake, a bunch of suspects—it’s a big case!

When Miss Rabbit leaves her carrot cake (with cream-cheese icing) out to cool and returns later to find only a mess of crumbs, she calls Detective Wilcox and Capt. Griswold. Over 100 animals on Ed’s farm means there’s a lot of suspects. Tongue firmly in cheek, Wilcox tells the story of this challenging case in clipped tones reminiscent of Dragnet. Fowler, the observant owl, loves rabbits, he informs readers. “She liked them for breakfast. She liked them for lunch. And she loved them for dinner.” His narration is peppered with food references that elevate this entertaining mystery, already fizzing with humor and inside jokes. To open their investigation, they slide down the rabbit hole, but Miss Rabbit does not have a crumb of an idea. The repeated food-based idioms (hard nut to crack, slower than molasses, take the cake) alternate with puns that a young reader will appreciate. When questioning Porcini the pig, Wilcox accuses, “Seems like you’ve spent some time in the pen.” The droll language is complemented with full-color cartoon illustrations that extend the text and add to the laughter. Readers ready for chapter books will solve the crime and then be surprised by the twist at the end.

Here’s hoping for more hard-boiled detecting from Wilcox and Griswold! (Mystery. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 20, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-939547-17-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Creston

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 67


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE WONKY DONKEY

Hee haw.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 67


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • IndieBound Bestseller

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2018

Categories:

WHAT IF YOU HAD ANIMAL TEETH?

Irresistible.

What if an animal’s teeth grew into the space where you lost your two front teeth?

Markle chews on this interesting question in this compelling combination of imagination and fact. Spread by double-page spread, she introduces animals with unusual choppers, from the beaver’s iron-coated orange incisors to the camel’s worn-out stubs, and explains what they’re used for. Or, in the case of the narwhal’s single tusk, points out that scientists don’t yet know. On the left-hand side of each spread, photographs of the animals emphasize their teeth. On the right, a human child is portrayed with that animal’s teeth. These film-animation–style illustrations reinforce the fantasy aspect and feature a diverse range of children. A black-haired boy in flip-flops lifts a car with his elephant tusks. A girl in a wheelchair picks up soup noodles with her flexible, naked-mole-rat front teeth. The text is presented in small chunks—a paragraph of description and a toothy fact on one page facing a paragraph about what you could do with such teeth. The reading will be a challenge for the intended audience, but the subject so compelling they won't be able to resist. A backpack-wearing boy with dark-framed glasses and dripping fangs greets a rattlesnake on the cover.

Irresistible. (Informational picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-48438-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

Categories:
Close Quickview