#306 – The Deductive Detective by Brian Rock

the deductive detective//

The Deductive Detective

by Brian Rock

Sherry Rogers, illustrator

Sylvan Dell Publishing

5 Stars

Inside Jacket:  Someone stole a cake from the cake contest—who could it be?  Twelve animal bakers are potential suspects but Detective Duck uses his deductive reasoning skills to “quack” the case.  After all the thief left hairs behind so the thief wasn’t a bird.

First Sentence:  Duck, the deductive detective, was sitting at his desk when the phone rang with an urgent message:  Someone stole one of the cakes from the cake contest!

8 suspects


Duck is a deductive detective, meaning he uses deduction, or logic, to solve his cases.  Next up is the case of the stolen contest cake.  Thirteen bakers have entered the cake contest, but last night—or maybe early this morning—someone stole one of the cakes.  Detective Duck must deduce who took the cake and fast.  Duck is sure it was one of the contestants.  Certainly, Fox did not steal his own cake.  He is free to sit and quietly cry over his loss.  That leaves twelve baker-suspects left.

One-by-one Duck eliminates suspects until he has only one left—the thief!  He is sure it could not have been Elephant.  Elephant is too large to use anything but the front double doors.  Owl, the night watchman, said the double doors were locked all night.  So, logically, Elephant could not have gotten in to steal the cake.  Duck started with 12 suspects, and now subtracts Elephant (-1), leaving 11 suspects.

Was it Mouse, who only likes cheesecake?  Could it have been Swan, or Horse, or Monkey?  Maybe it was Moose, who made a chocolate moose cake?  In time, using his deductive skills, Detective Duck will find the culprit.  Was it you?

11 suspects


The Deductive Detective is a fun story mixed with math, logic, and humor.  With each new baker eliminated, Duck subtracts one from the remaining number of suspects.  This fun way to learn simple subtraction is good for the youngest readers.  The intended reader age is 3 to 8.  The deductive reasoning is harder to understand.  Duck uses simple clues to eliminate each animal baker based on physical attributes and abilities making deductive reasoning easier to understand.  Three-year-olds understanding deduction, based on The Deductive Detective, would not surprise me.

The illustrations are bright and colorful.  Each animal has on an outfit befitting its stature.  Duck looks like Sherlock Holmes, with his tie, jacket, and double-billed hat.  He even pulls out a magnifying glass to view smaller objects.  Sherry Rogers has put in lots of interesting detail that can lead you to the next clue and possibly the culprit.  Duck has a small pad with his list of twelve suspects.  Or does he?

Most often, the illustrator can interpret the text as she likes.  When the text has specific details, the illustrator should use those details.  Duck does not have a correct list of his twelve suspects.  Left off the list is Rooster.  In his place is the night watchman, Owl.  Ouch!

6 suspects

I love the humor Brian Rock wrote after deducing a character not guilty.  When 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.

The Deductive Detective has over thirty pages of cross-curricular activities at the publisher’s website along with activities for the kids, and quizzes.  Following the story are two pages of extra activities for the kids.  One is about deductive reasoning and the other has kids comparing and contrasting the animal characters.  Sylvan Dell Publishing has the “mission to improve child literacy with science and math through fictional picture books,” such as The Deductive Detective. This book meets the common core and state standards, in addition to having expert checked material.

1 suspect

Children wanting to learn simple subtraction, or how logic works, will like the well-written Deductive Detective.  The story is good, the characters are wonderful, the deductions sound, and the humor terrific.  Physically, the paperback version is made of laminated covers and extra thick paper little fingers will find difficult to tear.  In addition to the paperback version, The Deductive Detective is available in hardcover, as an eBook,   and in Spanish (el detective deductivo), translated  by Rosalyna Toth.  The Deductive Detective  will make a great addition to the classroom, be it in a school or home.

Teaching Activity Guide (PDF)

Alignment to Standards by State


The Deductive Detective

by Brian Rock   website    blog   facebook    twitter
Sherry Rogers, illustrator      website    blog    facebook    twitter 
Sylvan Dell Publishing      website   blog    facebook    twitter
Released March 16, 2013
ISBN: (PB) 978-1-60718-625-0
(HC) 978 – 1-60718-613-7
(eB) 978-1-60718-637-3
Spanish (HC) 978-1-60718-708-0
Spanish (eB) 978-1-60718-649-6
32 Pages
Ages 3 to 8
Copyright © 2013 by Sylvan Dell Publishing; used with permission.
Test:  Copyright © 2013 by Brian Rock
Illustrations:  Copyright © 2013 by Sherry Rogers





duck discl

3 thoughts on “#306 – The Deductive Detective by Brian Rock

  1. Pingback: #446 – The Fort on Fourth Street by Lois Spangler & Christina Wald | Kid Lit Reviews

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