It's no secret I have a toddler, but that doesn't mean that we cannot occasionally fast forward to find meaningful and wonderful children's literature intended for a school-aged child.
Enter The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith.
I quite liked the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency books, and I was not disappointed with this prequel. It has similar feeling - slightly predictable, but none-the-less enjoyable plot-lines, simple enough language that it could be a good read-aloud book for a patient preschooler or kindergartner (though a chapter book, could maybe even be a one-night read-alouder!) or a book for an no-longer beginning reader. Alexander McCall Smith in his Note To Readers calls it a book for children under 10.
There are some moral lessons intertwined with the plot, but my favorite part - of this book and the Ladies No. 1 books is the very lovely way in which Alexander McCall Smith describes the simple, but exotic to us, life of this girl in Botswana. I challenge anyone to resist the story of a father confronting a lion or of the river that flows in the wrong direction. They are charming. I am charmed.
And much like the adult series, it was over too soon and I was left wanting more.