A Wilcox & Griswold Mystery: The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake
by Robin Newman; Illustrated by Deborah Zemke
Creston Books (May 12, 2015)
Audience: 6 to 8 years old
Fiction * Mystery * Farm
IndieBound | WorldCat
Description from GoodReads:
When food goes missing on Ed's farm, Detectives Wilcox and Griswold do what it takes to track down the thieves. In this case, Miss Rabbit's carrot cake has disappeared. Has it been stolen? Or eaten? Or both? Who dunnit?
"Readers ready for chapter books will solve the crime and then be surprised by the twist at the end. Here's hoping for more hard-boiled detecting from Wilcox and Griswold!"
Check out the official book trailer:
Thank you Robin Newman for stopping by Kid Lit Frenzy and chatting with us.
The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake is an interesting blend of an early reader and early chapter book (a little longer than one and a little shorter than the other) was this intentional or did the story just develop that way?
When I first started writing The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, it was a picture book. But my word counts were off the charts, around 1200-1600 words, and I knew an editor would be hyperventilating if he/she saw the word counts. So, upon the advice of my friend, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, I ended up changing it to an early chapter book. Once I changed the format of the book, it was my hope that the book would help build the confidence of readers easing their way into chapter books.
Carrot Cake is an intriguing mystery with a specific style and voice. Did you discuss this with Deborah at all or were you surprised at how her illustrations captured that style and voice?
Deborah and I did not communicate until after her illustrations were done. From the get-go, she just got the book. And when I saw her first sketches, they blew me away. They were far better and more adorable than anything I had ever imagined.
I really enjoyed The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake and have added it to summer reading lists. Will there be more books in the series? *keeps fingers crossed*
Alyson, Wilcox, Griswold, and I are THRILLED that you enjoyed the book. J
Wilcox and Griswold have been assigned to their second big case, The Case of the Poached Egg, illustrated by Deborah Zemke (Creston Books, fall 2016). Penny, the egg, has been poached! Not poached as in boiled, but poached as in egg-napped. Was foul or fowl play involved? Detective Wilcox and Captain Griswold are scrambling to crack this case before they end up with an omelet. Or worse, a bucket of fried chicken!
Are there any other writing projects that you are working on that you can share with us?
Over the last few years, I’ve been working on a number of books about three mischievous peacocks.
What writing routines do you have and do you have a special writing space that you work in?
I wish I were organized enough to have a specific routine, but I generally try to work a few hours a day until the bewitching hour when I have to pick up my son from school.
I do most of my work in the maid’s room of my apartment a/k/a my office. Recently, my office has been taken over by two mice and all of their gear, and it’s looking a tad bit like Porcini’s pigpen.
Summer is coming quickly, any beach reads that are on your "tbr" list?
There are so many great books that are out or coming out that I would love to read.
At the very top of my list is Marissa Moss’s Amelia’s Middle-School Graduation Yearbook, Chris Grabenstein’s The Island of Dr. Libris, Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener, R.J. Palacio’s Pluto and Shingaling (to be read with my eight-year old son who’s already read and loved Wonder and The Julian Chapter); and I cannot wait to get my hands on Katherine Applegate’s Crenshaw and Gary Schmidt’s Orbiting Jupiter, which I’m hoping (fingers and toes crossed) will have early releases.
Though Carrot Cake just came out, have you had any particular reactions or questions by children that you have especially enjoyed?
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve met some super smart, inquisitive, creative, funny, and all-around amazing kids.
When I spoke to fifth graders about the revision process, I brought in my dummy books, and as soon as I happened to mention the word “dummy” all hands were up, “Why’s it called a dummy?”
I’ve also received some very sweet notes from kids, including this one from a first grader, which just made my day!
Do you have a favorite indie bookstore? Where is it?
I am a HUGE fan and supporter of independent bookstores across the board. There are many incredible ones in my neck of the woods in New York and Brooklyn: The Corner Bookstore, Book Culture, and BookCourt, are just some, to name a few.
Sadly, in all of Manhattan, there are only two children’s bookstores, Bank Street Book Store and Books of Wonder. They are both neighborhood treasures.
Bank Street Book Store is my neighborhood bookstore. They provide incredible free programs for the community, including puppet shows, story time, sing alongs, and book talks for kids of all ages.
Bank Street is where my son bought his first books. It is where he met his first authors and illustrators. It’s where Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen whispered in his ear to not disclose the ending of her book to the other kids who had not read it. And I recall one visit with Jill Davis, author of The First Rule of Little Brothers, when he asked her how she got published because his mom was looking for a publisher.
Bank Street is extremely supportive of its Upper West Side writers and illustrators. As a writer, it’s been a dream come true to see my book in the front window of Bank Street Book Store. Thank you Bank Street!
If anyone is interested in supporting the wonderful programs Bank Street Book Store provides to the community, you can become a Friend of Bank Street. For more information, go to: https://giving.bankstreet.edu/bookstore-friends