Not an Alphabet Book: The Case of the Missing Cake By Eoin McLaughlin

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Follow Bear from A to Z as he hunts for a cake thief in this alphabet book crossed with a whodunit.

There has been a terrible crime, Bear tells us. Someone has STOLEN a delicious chocolate cake! Bear sets off to find the culprit, questioning characters and compiling clues from A to Z. Not an Alphabet Book: The Case of the Missing Cake

This is a silly book! Very Ms. Dale! I love a good interactive book! 9781536212679 Book Reviewed on

The Case of the Missing Cake opens with Bear welcoming the reader and asking them to join him as he tries to find out who stole the most chocolatey, delicious cake in the world. By visiting things that being with each letter of the alphabet, Bear tries to work out who stole his cake.

The book is quite amusing and kids will enjoy that the book is aimed at them as Bear speaks directly to them to help him locate the cake. As an adult from page one you will already have sussed out who did it, but don’t let on if you are reading with a child!

I love the illustrations especially as they incorporate little clues to who stole the cake. Regarding the choice of words associated with the letters, I was surprised with a few of them such as for ‘X’ they chose Xylophone. I’d have chosen X-ray, as in ‘we’re going to x-ray your stomach to see if the cake is in there’ rather than a penguin playing the xylophone, but hey I’m just a reader and not an author.

For children who like a good giggle and solving mysteries, this book is perfect for them. I would also say it would work as a class read, getting the children to work together to figure out who the culprit is. 9781536212679 Who ate the chocolate cake? An ABC book mystery with fantastic art! 9781536212679 First book of the new year to make me lol! 9781536212679 Joku on syönyt karhun herkullisen suklaakakun ja niin alkaa syyllisen metsästäminen halki sivujen, joilla opetellaan samalla aakkosia. Lystikäs tapaus tämä irlantilaistekijän kuvakirja! 9781536212679


Where’s the Cake?!


Yes, this is much more than an alphabet book! It is also a child-sized mystery that will be sure to give little ones lots of giggles. We learn on the first page that “the world’s most completely delicious, tongue-jinglingly chocolaty cake” is missing. So begins the search with Bear to visit each alphabet letter to find clues.

Along the way, Bear finds that funny words, situations and high jinks abound. For instance, take the case of the reformed Mr. Fox who is now good friends with the Gingerbread Man—despite one tiny bite--or the situation Bear finds himself in when Walrus asks a question. Sharp eyes will be able to gather information and spot clues as they make their way through the letters.

The great illustrations of this story’s shenanigans enhance the fun text to create one of the best children’s books I have seen. It is a hard-backed, well-made, over-sized volume. This is a book that can be used purely as an alphabet book for very young ones. But as they get older, they will grow into solving the mystery and enjoying the jokes. I predict this 5+ star book will wear out before a child is finished enjoying it, and highly recommend it.

Candlewick Publishing has provided Tickmenot with a complimentary copy of, Not an Alphabet Book: The Case of the Missing Cake, for the purpose of review. 9781536212679 Super cute alphabet book. Unfortunately now my kids think it’s ok to steal cake from the kitchen. 9781536212679 This is a great twist to a classic alphabet book which will keep kids engaged with the funny and silly story. ‘Not an Alphabet Book: The Case of the Missing Cake’ is just a little larger than A4 in size and is filled with thick matt pages of colourful illustrations and some text. Despite the name this actually is an alphabet book, although it also doubles as a bit of a detective story too.

The book begins with Bear telling us all about the most delicious chocolate cake which was sitting on the page (where the letter C is – for ‘cake’) but that’s now been stolen. He asks the readers help to solve the crime and then every page after that is a letter of the alphabet. On each page there’s a typical alphabet letter with something beginning with that world on the page, but Bear appears on these pages too asking various characters whether they’ve stolen the cake. The story continues throughout the pages, leading to a silly and funny conclusion. I like the story although to any adults reading it’s pretty obvious who has stolen the cake when you see the pictures, but it’s a great fun story for kids to get engaged in and I wonder whether any of them spot the clues on the pages before the ending.

Unlike lots of other alphabet books this one, with the story twist, makes this really fun to read, and also to look back on more than once, even as kids get older, as you can then go back to see if you spot the little clues. I like the choices of some of the letter words too, there are so many alphabet books that choose the same words again and again but I like the slightly different variety of some of them here, such as the word for the letter U being ‘universe’.

The illustrations are funny and I really like how Bear looks on the first pages. Talking to the reader and the face expressions throughout the story of various characters is so engaging and also fun to look at. I love the weirdness of some of the images too, such as the eye for the letter E and the silly images towards the end of the story. The illustrations just make this so much more engaging and although I don’t find the story all that funny personally, I do like the silliness of it in general.

Overall I do like this book and its unique and different take on your average alphabet book. It’s definitely one that children will enjoy looking at again, especially if they like the illustrations and the humour of what happens in the story.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy for review. 9781536212679 An alphabet book that's more original than most, Not an Alphabet Book reads like a young detective story. It's also much better, in my opinion, than the unconventional picture book classic, Z Is for Moose. Great for older picture book readers looking for a mystery and some laughs. 9781536212679 10/14/2022 ~ Since this book is on the Young Hoosier list this year, I bought it for the library. I read it to K, 2nd, and 3rd graders this week. I was interested to note that the students (3rd especially) had the same reaction to the octopuses fat joke that I'd had in my early reading. It was also cool to watch kids of different ages watch the story unfold. The 3rd graders talked to the bear throughout, saying they knew he was the thief. Some of the kindergartners had to be led clue by clue to understand.

As a reading teacher, I was also curious to see how some readers/listeners held onto their initial assumptions (i.e. the pig was the thief) even in light of copious evidence in the story to to the contrary. This behavior shows a lack of comprehension; I'm not sure how to help kids be open to changing their mind about story events when they get clues.

7/10/2022 ~ I enjoyed the book until I got to the letter O. I know that kids are going to enjoy being in on the secret and telling each other and bear that we know he's the one who ate the cake - the clues are all over. The octopus's arms on several pages were fun too.

1) The octopus tells bear You're looking rather large....Have you put on weight? (p. 18). This kind of fat-shaming is unacceptable, and shouldn't be modeled in books, even in jest.
2) Bear drags Pig off by the ear, saying Everyone knows you stole the cake The Queen then convicts the pig and banishes it (pp 19-20). There is no trial, no evidence, etc. This felt too reminiscent of the way our criminal (not) justice system works for too many people.

We can do better in our picture books. 9781536212679