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“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Summary: "Johnny" Cakes (a pancake gangster) escaped from prison. His first stop? Pat-a-Cake Bakery ... to kidnap Patty herself! While Humpty's surveying the crime scene, in comes Rat, a street-wise boy who eats breakfast at the bakery every day. Together, Humpty and Rat vow to save Patty, but they weren't prepared for what "Johnny" Cakes planned to dish out. This is the first case in this illustrated mystery series for elementary school readers.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, early reader, reluctant reader, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 8 to 12
Interest Level: 8 to 12
Reading Level: 2.6
Age of Child: Read with girl nearly 7 years old.
Young Reader Reaction: We heard egg puns for days! Our daughter laughed from one cover to the other, and always asked for extra chapters when we read this at night. Food fights, monster characters, and clever illustrations made for fast, fun reading.
Adult Reader Reaction: Who knew you could scramble an egg pun so many ways? Even Dad liked this one! The humor is pretty basic, but you are pretty much guaranteed at least one chuckle per page. The story does an effective job laying out sight gags that boys love to read (and imitate).
Pros: Clever characters, humor, and fast-paced action make this a fun story to share chapter-by-chapter or swallow all at once. Boys will love this book.
Cons: None, this one goes over easy.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. The story is cute, the names (New Yolk!), characters are clever (if not smartalicky), and the chapters are short. Just what you want for a soon-to-be independent reader. Kids will go back to the books just to look up the humor.
Educational Themes: This is a story meant to be enjoyed for fun reading. It would make a nice first choice for someone who's ready to be an independent reader. In a book club setting you could have some fun cracking all of the egg puns, cooking puns, and double entendre.
Literary Categories: Fiction - mystery, crime, humor, series book
Date(s) Reviewed: October 2008
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