The Deductive Detective

School Library Journal Review - August 2013

"Who stole a cake from the cake contest? That's the question Deductive Detective Duck must answer as he interviews 13 potential perpetrators. One by one, suspects are eliminated. Clues such as window height, time of the theft, footprints, and suspicious strands of hair help to narrow the pool of possible wrongdoers whose physical attributes or behavior don't fit the crime. In the end all evidence points to the only possible theif. It is Monkey, who confesses his motive: 'I couldn't help it...It was a banana cream cake!' This outstanding lesson in logic serves as a clear and simple model for the art of deductive reasoning. In addition, all the elements of a great detective story are abound from the playful cartoon illustrations to the hillarious wordplay. Educational extension activities are provided, adding even more value to a story that continues learning and fun."

Kirkus Reviews - January 2013

"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."

The Midwest Book Review - May 2013

"Using simple subtraction, deductive reasoning, and a heaping helping of humor, "The Deductive Detective" is a mystery and a math puzzle rolled into one. It will 'quack' you up."

Library Media Connection - October 2013

Fox’s cake is stolen from a baking contest and Detective Duck is on his way to deduce the identity of the culprit. Twelve animals are suspects. Duck interviews each animal, identifying a characteristic of the animal that would preclude it from being the thief. One-by-one, Duck eliminates an animal. Puns frequent the text, and full-color double-page illustrations brighten the pages. A simple subtraction problem on each page mathematically illustrates the elimination of each animal. An overall picture of the crime scene evidence is not presented; perhaps the reader could then have deduced who the culprit was sooner. The author attempts to combine math and deductive reasoning and a bit of a mystery, creating a book reminiscent of Stuart Murphy’s many math books. The back matter invites interactivity and tests comprehension. Activities are available on the publisher’s website.
- Marion Mueller, Library Media Consultant, Rawhide Starr Academy, New London, Wisconsin

Big Universe - February 2013

Heck of a Bunch - March 2013

"A fun whodunit, The Deductive Detective stars a duck trying to solve the case of who stole a cake. Duck narrows down each suspect until the culprit is caught. Each page features an animal and the reason why they may or may not be the guilty party. Each page also shows the subtraction of suspects, giving children a visual cue of deduction. There's several tongue-in-cheek remarks made by the animals, which left me giggling."

Reader Kidz - March 2013

"As kids read along and use their knowledge of the clues, clever puns and plays on words make this a entertaining and engaging way to use critical thinking skills."

"Includes all sorts of valuable classroom and home activities... really and truly one of the most meaningful book-to-curriculum resource guides I’ve ever seen."

Berger's Book Reviews - March 2013

"The Deductive Detective is a clever whodunit geared toward younger readers. As they follow along, they experience deductive reasoning for themselves, along with some clever puns by the animals cleared of the crime. Future mystery enthusiasts will enjoy this fun story."

Books for Kids - April 2013

Your child's first foray into the world of sleuthing begins here. Detective Duck cleverly uses deductive reasoning to uncover the identity of a cake thief. I really love the way Duck uses his thinking skills to work through the mystery. The writing is clean and simple, with a touch of humor. It's perfect for the intended audience.

Hazel Nutt's Toddler Talk - April 2013

This clever duck finds clues that help eliminate each suspect, until there is just one left – the guilty culprit. It couldn’t be the mouse, because the mouse would be too small to steal the cake, or the cockerel, as the cockerel was busy elsewhere cockadoodledooing, at the time of the theft.

There is plenty of clever word play, banter and entertainment along the way. There are talking points on every page, with a lot of things to spot and pay attention to on the illustrations as well. This is a very interactive book that begs to be read over and over and with target audience of 3 to 8, it’s sure to be a favorite for many years.

The Picture Book Review - April 2013

We highly, highly recommend The Deductive Detective.  It is a lot of fun.  We’ve read it everyday, several times a day, for the past two weeks and we really enjoy it.  It’s an easy book to like no matter how many times we reread it.  The jokes, the story line, and the pacing make it a great book.

Sunlit Pages - April 2013

"My boys love this kind of book where they get to look for clues, make guesses, and figure things out. Most of the premises and subsequent conclusions made sense to my 3- and 4-year-olds: they could understand that, of course, the thief couldn't have been Swan because Duck had found an incriminating strand of hair, and Swans don't have hair."

Advice from a Caterpillar - April 2013

Young super sleuths can help Deductive Detective solve the case. Sherry Rogers’ vibrant illustrations show the cast of animal characters all decked out in human garb. But pay close attention to the expressions on the critters’ faces. One of them wears a rather guilty look. A bonus two-page section at the end offers learning activities for parents and teachers to help expand young readers’ awareness of the world around them, which is how mysteries are solved. Using simple subtraction, deductive reasoning, and a heaping helping of humor, The Deductive Detective is a mystery and a math puzzle rolled into one. It will “quack” you up. 

Inspiring Book and Products for Kids - April 2013

This story will have children of all ages laughing out loud. Brian Rock writes the story in a very humorous and clever manner. There are two learning activity pages at the end of the book for the reader to develop his reasoning skills. The illustrator, Sherry Rogers, also does a splendid job of illustrating the story.

Book for Kids - April 2013

Your child's first foray into the world of sleuthing begins here.  Detective Duck cleverly uses deductive reasoning to uncover the identity of a cake thief. I really love the way Duck uses his thinking skills to work through the mystery.  The writing is clean and simple, with a touch of humor.  It's perfect for the intended audience.

Kid Lit Reviews - April 2013

I love the humor Brian Rock wrote after deducing a character not guilty.  We know Elephant is not the thief (I gave it away above), given he needs the double doors to enter the building.  Elephant explains, “That’s because I’m royalty.  I come from a long line of Tudors (two doors, get it?)  Adults will like these little wise remarks from the innocent parties.  Adults, remember, when you giggle at these you will have to explain the funny to your child.

Geo Librarian - April 2013

Ha, ha. Hee, hee. This book made me laugh.  Not only does this book do an excellent job of providing an easily understandable look at deductive reasoning and how it works, but the use of wordplay makes it funny as well.  When Duck is called in to find Fox's missing cake, he methodically goes through the clues and the twelve suspects until he uncovers the thief.  Each clue eliminates one suspect through deductive reasoning.  A book like this could easily come off as didactic, but it didn't feel that way at all to me.  The book is easy to read and perfect for sharing.  There are many applications for classroom use, but it is also just a fun story. For teachers there is a wonderful explanation and activity at the end of the book about deductive reasoning, using logic and facts to come to a conclusion, making a complex subject understandable for the youngest student.  The illustrations are bright and cheerful and appealing. I had to laugh seeing duck wearing a suit. ;) Highly recommended for fun and learning.

My Mc Books - April 2013

This is a funny book I couldn’t stop laughing. If you love mystery you would love reading The Deductive Detective. Duck received an urgent message that someone stole one of the cakes from the cake contest. It was Duck’s duty to find out who may have stolen the cake. When Duck arrived at the scene of the crime all thirteen bakers were still there. Duck found out the cake stolen belong to Fox and it was now time for him to quack the case (hahaha!).  Duck was going to find the clues by subtracting each suspect u

This Kid Reviews Books - May 2013

I love mysteries. I like finding the clues myself. This is a great way to get young kids into mysteries. I also like that Duck uses math to find out how many suspects are left (ex: 12 suspects – 1 mouse = 11 suspects). The illustrations are very well done and “cartoon-y” and have some “hidden humor” in them, so older kids will like that. It’s nice to find a book that makes math and reasoning fun. The puns and cute jokes are also a favorite for me (like the mouse wouldn’t steal the cake because she only likes cheesecake. I think kids 4+ would love this book!

Reader's Haven Reviews - May 2013

"The illustrations are large and colorful to keep the interest of young students.  Older elementary students will enjoy the book as they will understand the humor.  This would be a good book to read to an elementary class that is learning how to subtract by ones.  Deductive reasoning helps are located in the back of the book and are very helpful to the teacher."

A Year of Jubilee Reviews - May 2013

"The Deductive Detective from Arbordale Publishing is a great children's book on deductive reasoning, something that we definitely need as adults! Why not get them started sleuthing early and using logic.

The Teacher Activities for this book are so fun and educational! Animal Classification, animal card games including illustrated animal cards from the story that you can print out, word finds, and more. Broken down into each area of curriculum studied. Get some great learning in this summer at home with the 21 pages of resources in addition to the ideas in the back of the book!"

Kids Book Review - May 2013

"My favorite parts of this book are when Detective Duck saves the day and finds out who took the cake.  I also thought it was funny when Kangaroo says that her Joey was all doughy!   Kids who like mysteries and solving math equations and using deductive reasoning would enjoy this book."

3rd Grade Reading - July 2013

The Deductive Detective is a charming read-aloud, but for a third grade class to really appreciate the puns, students may also read it individually. Brian Rock, a former educator himself, also writes allusions throughout his book. To understand puns like the Elephant’s statement, “I come from a long line of Tudors”, or cow’s recollection that her great-grandmother once “jumped over the moon,” students must remember who the Tudors were or a nursery rhyme.

Read Brightly - February 2015

Every time I read a mystery with my kids, I’m surprised at how much they pick up. Often, my kids will stop me halfway through a book to tell me their hypothesis (yes, they use that word) and make predictions about the rest of the story. Mysteries get kids to think differently and pay attention to details they might not otherwise notice.

You can help your little detectives hone their sleuthing skills with these eight mysterious reads.

The Deductive Detective
by Brian Rock, illustrated by Sherry Rogers
A cake thief is on the loose! Using deductive reasoning and subtraction, Detective Duck follows the clues to discover the identity of the cake thief. At the back of the book, there is a short section about the methods Duck uses to solve the mystery.