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Precious and the Monkeys

av Alexander McCall Smith

Andra författare: Iain McIntosh (Illustratör)

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

Serier: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Prequel)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3261858,438 (3.72)4
Before becoming the first female private investigator in Botswana, eight-year-old Precious Ramotswe tracks down a thief who has been stealing her classmates' snacks.

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Alexander McCall Smith, creator of the popular No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, about a woman detective in Botswana, turns to the childhood of his popular character, Precious Ramotswe, in this first beginning chapter-book adventure. An observant child with a kind heart, Precious decides from an early age that she will be a detective, spurred on by her father's observation that she has what it takes. Her first case involves the theft of a number of goodies and treats, brought from home by Precious' classmates to enjoy after the healthy but uninspiring school lunch. The two children who lost items to the thief soon decide that it must be Poloko, an unpopular and overweight child in their school, but Precious is not so sure...

It's been a number of years since I read The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, but I do recall enjoying it, as well as the HBO miniseries made from it. Reading The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's First Case was such a pleasure that I was seized with a desire to reread that original book, its sequels, and the sequels to this children's novel based upon it. Precious is such an engaging and sympathetic character, and Smith's narrative is so compassionate and humane, that I found his story wholly satisfying. I also enjoyed the beautiful illustrations from Iain McIntosh, done in vivid shades of reddish brown, black and gray. It's interesting to note that this book was first published as Precious and the Puggies in Scots (sometimes regarded as an older dialect of English, sometimes as a separate language), and then translated into standard British English in Precious and the Monkeys. Generally speaking, I tend to frown on the renaming of British books for the American market - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone becoming Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and so on - but in this case, I prefer the American title, as the British one hints too broadly at the solution to the mystery, potentially spoiling the suspense for some young readers. I highly recommend this little chapter-book gem, both to beginning chapter-book readers who enjoy mysteries, and to fans of the adult series looking to see how their favorite sleuth got started. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Oct 22, 2020 |
When 8-year-old Precious Ramotswe's father suggests that she would make a good detective someday, she doesn't think that day will come quite so quickly. But when her classmates' snacks are being stolen from the school and another child is accused without evidence, Precious knows she must investigate and find out the real culprit.

This is a children's book introduction to the main character of a series written for adults. I suspect that the legion of fans of the adult books probably were a huge audience for this as well, but it's also nice to have a child-friendly version so families can either read all together or for the children to feel like they have a connection with a parent or grandparent's reading tastes.

The book opens with Precious's lovely relationship with her father and a story he tells of his own youth. The mystery is then introduced and fairly quickly solved by Precious, although she must come up with an ingenious way to prove her theory is correct. There's also an underlying theme about being a good friend (and really, about being a good person).

The audiobook version is expertly read by Adjoa Andoh, who breathes life into the characters by giving them all distinct voices. I also took a peek at the textual e-book to see the illustrations, which are very vibrant, despite using only red and black/gray in the palette, and pop right off the page. Apparently some print versions also have a reader's guide and a cake recipe, but that was not included in either e-book version.

McCall Smith's writing style is I think generally fairly accessible even to a young audience, but he does sort of 'dumb it down' a bit here. I hate to use that phrase, but it does seem like he is a teeny bit talking down to the child reader, although it is not like the book is completely didactic by any stretch. I am not the hugest fan of how there's a bit of fat shaming here, although it is mostly rectified by the end.

All in all though, this was a cute introduction to the mystery genre for young readers. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Aug 25, 2020 |
There’s a thief at Precious Ramotswe’s school, and everyone is accusing a boy named Poloko. But Precious is pretty sure it’s someone else. Can she come up with a way to catch the thief in the act and offer proof that will clear Poloko’s name?

This is a fun mystery you can read lickety-split. ( )
  rhowens | Nov 26, 2019 |
The first time I saw London when I was 16, I recognized it from reading Dickens. It would be hard to say just exactly what it was I recognized; what could have been the same? But it was the feel of the place. The Great Cake Mystery gives a great feel for Botswana. I promptly ordered a copy for my 7 year old granddaughter. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
This is exactly what the title says: an absolutely charming story of Precious Ramotswe's first case, her first impulse to be a detective and solve a problem someone brings to her.

Precious is just a school girl, and this very first case concerns who is stealing the special treats the children bring to school, to eat in the school yard after the plain, nutritious lunch provided by the school. These treats are important to the children, and when they start disappearing, they are eager to identify and punish a culprit. Precious is troubled by the fact that there is no real evidence against the accused boy, and she starts asking questions and looking around, trying to find a way to identify the real thief.

This is a fun little book, and I while I think the intended age group will enjoy it, it will be an enjoyable read for their parents who enjoy the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, as well.

Recommended.

I borrowed this book from the local library. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
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» Lägg till fler författare

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Alexander McCall Smithprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
McIntosh, IainIllustratörmedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Robertson, JamesÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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Hae ye ever said intae yersel -- no oot lood, mind, but quiet-like, jist in yer heid: Wid it no be braw tae be a detective?
Have you ever said to yourself, Wouldn't it be nice to be a detective?
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Published as Precious and the Puggies in Scots and Precious and the Monkeys in English in the UK.
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Before becoming the first female private investigator in Botswana, eight-year-old Precious Ramotswe tracks down a thief who has been stealing her classmates' snacks.

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