Deductive Detective, The
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. Follow along as he subtracts each suspect one at a time to reveal just who the culprit was. This clever story will have children of all ages giggling at the puns and the play on words. Key phrases for educators: subtraction, deductive reasoning, animal adaptations, puns/play on words

Written by Brian Rock
Illustrated by Sherry Rogers

32 pg, 10 x 8.5, Ages 4-8, Grades PK-2
Lexile: AD 670, AR: 3.60
Hardcover 9781607186137 $17.95  
Spanish Hardcover 9781607187080 $17.95  
Paperback 9781607186250 $9.95  
Spanish Paperback 9781628553475 $9.95  
EBook 9781607186618 $6.95  
Spanish EBook 9781628551556 $6.95  
Keywords:   math, subtraction, critical thinking, deduction/inference, prediction, compare/contrast
Animals in the book:   duck, owl, mouse, rooster, elephant, swan, horse, moose, pig, cow, tiger, kangaroo, raccoon, monkey
Vetters:   Thanks to Rachel Hilchey, 5th grade math teacher and Hallsville ISD (TX) 2014 Elementary Teacher of the Year for reviewing the math-related information in this book.

"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 included, providing an excellent introduction to the mystery genre. Charm and humor abound from the playful cartoon illustrations to the hilarious wordplay. Educational extension activities are provided, adding even more value to a story that combines learning and fun."–Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT
School Library Journal

"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." (May 2013)
The Midwest Book Review

"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’.”... (January 2013)
Kirkus Reviews

Author/Illustrator Info:

Brian Rock (The Deductive Detective), received a master’s degree in Children’s Literature/Creative Writing from Hollins University. Brian’s short stories for children appear regularly in the regional magazine “Kid’s world” and his poems for children have appeared in Highlights for Children, Poetry Train, and various regional publications. His short story, The Frog Dad, was selected as one of the inaugural titles for iPulpFiction’s “Don’t Read This in the Dark” series. For six years Brian worked in the Chesterfield County public school system teaching at-risk students. Visit Brian’s website for more information.

Sherry Rogers spent twelve years as a corporate graphic designer and artist before “leaving it all behind” for the freelance world of illustrating children’s books. Through illustrating The First Fire, Sherry remembers her own ancestor, Na Ni, a Cherokee woman from the mountains of North Carolina. Some of Sherry’s other Arbordale titles include The Penguin Lady, Ten for Me, Hey Diddle Diddle, Newton and Me, Moose and Magpie, Paws, Claws, Hands & Feet, and The Deductive Detective; as well as her award-winning titles: Sort It Out!, Kersplatypus, Burro’s Tortillas, and If You Were a Parrot. Sherry lives in Northern California with her family and their pets. Visit her website at


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