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Precious and the Puggies (Precious Ramotswe's Very First Cases #1)
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Precious and the Puggies (Precious Ramotswe's Very First Cases #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,952 Ratings  ·  414 Reviews
Have you ever said to yourself, wouldn’t it be nice to be a detective? This is the story of an African girl who says just that. Her name is Precious. When a piece of cake goes missing from her classroom, Precious sets out to find the thief.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published July 23rd 2010)
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Rebecca Reid
The Great Cake Mystery introduces young readers to the lovely setting of Botswana and a precocious young girl named Precious who likes to figure things out. Although she thinks it may be many years before she’ll have a mystery to solve, it turns out that someone in her school is eating people’s snacks and she may just be able to figure out who has done it. With her father’s encouragement and her own careful logic, a detective is born in Botswana.

The book is a quick and easy read. McCall Smith sp
Jan Rice
It's OK to be nice.
It's OK to smile
It's OK to ask questions; you may become a detective!
It's OK to be able to tell when adults aren't speaking literally.

Don't steal.
Honesty is good.
Thieves undermine trust.

Take care re misjudging others.
Avoid false accusations.
Connections do not equal proof.

Sometimes life calls for standing up to bigger people or to your friends.
Sometimes life calls for standing up for your friends.

Mysteries can be fun.

Parents can be nice.
Parents can be storytellers.
Growing up e
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would happily read Alexander McCall Smith's laundry list, for the delight it would doubtless be...but this is another sweet, funny little story that made me smile as usual. It is a prequel to the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, about Precious Ramotswe as a little girl. It was published first in translation to Scots, to encourage Scottish children (and others) to read in that tongue. What a man, supporting worthwhile things with his talent.
Dec 09, 2011 rated it liked it
There was once a time, best beloved, when the early chapter book section of your local lending library was a veritable wasteland of white characters. Oh, every once in a while you might be able to get your hands on Stories Julian Tells or My Name is Maria Isabel but by and large they were it, man. Then, in the last ten years or so, something changed. Suddenly there was an influx of great books starring kids of a diverse range of backgrounds and races. Different nationalities would sort of come u ...more
A look at Precious Ramotswe, long before she became the famous detective we all know and love. As a seven year old girl, Precious has already started showing signs of the inquisitiveness and curiosity that helps her later in solving cases. She also loves to cook and eat, even at this age. She goes to the local school, where everyone is very nice. And then food starts disappearing and a fat boy gets accused of theft. It is up to Precious to find out the real culprit and prove it to everyone.

It ju
Georgiana 1792
Carina Precious bambina! :)
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a children's book, but I'm open to a good children's book here and there. It's about an hour long -- just the right length to get me through makeup and breakfast. The narration on this was really well done. I am now looking for the other Precious Ramotswe books.
Barb Middleton
May 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I'm confused. This looks like an early chapter reader for grades 2-3. It reads like an early chapter reader. But the reading level is 5.6 which means the vocabulary is at a 5th grade level. Huh? Typo? I'd be curious what others think about that... Maybe I can get a grade 3 teacher to read it and give his or her opinion. Hmmm.

Meet Precious. And no, it's not Gollum, the horrible hobbit from Tolkien's, Lord of the Rings. But it is Precious from an adult mystery series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective A
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
This is the first of the children's spinoff books about Precious Ramotswe, and it's a great deal better than the one I read first (Precious and the Mystery of the Missing Lion). Part of its charm are the illustrations.

While the resolution of the mystery is pretty silly, it's well within the traditions of children's wish-fulfillment stories, rather like Danny the Champion of the World. Precious acts much more like a normal kid in this story, and manages to champion the underdog without coming of
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
What a delightful story! Precious lives in Botswana and her father suggested that she should be a detective some day. And she thought, “Why not?” and soon her very first case landed in her lap. At school, someone has been stealing the desserts that the children have brought to eat after lunch. The children think it must be Poloko because he is a rather round boy who loves to eat sweets. However, Precious wants proof before she accuses anyone so she hatches a plan.
This easy chapter book is perfec
This book is a young reader mystery, telling the story of Precious Ramotswe's first case. Precious is the star of the adult books, The No. 1 Ladie's Detective Agency.

There are so many reasons I think this book is very cool: 1) the illustrations are phenomenal; 2) it is a mystery for young readers; 3) the main character is a smart girl; 4) it is set in Botswana.

I have two significant complaints about the book. First, it seemed clear to me that it was written by a Westerner. I did not believe that
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ra-new
JF McC grades 2-4
Adult fans of Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series will be queuing up to give this prequel of sorts to the children they know. This series starter introduces the author’s heroine, Precious Ramotswe, as a young girl solving her first case. Someone has been stealing treats from her friends at school, and suspicion swirls around a chubby boy named Poloko. Encouraged by her father, who has noted Precious’ powers of deduction, the sleuth decides to follow her instincts and p
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading the whole series of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency I was intrigued to read the start and children’s version of Precious Ramotswe. This book is beautifully written and follows a simple but effective storyline. It is set in Botswana and explores Precious’ life at the age of 7, living with her father, listening to stories and wanting to help people. Already with a dream set in mind to become a detective, Precious sets out on her first case for her classmates to discover where many ...more
Lis Carey
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
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 a
Clare Cannon
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 08-12yrs
A gentle mystery that's a much simpler version of McCall Smith's Ladies Detective Agency books. It shows the same gentle, sturdy goodness in its protagonist (the younger Precious) who stands up for the weak and defends them against injustice. It's not an action packed or thrilling read, and would probably appeal most to avid young readers who have the sensitivity to value quiet depth above noisy thrills.
H.L. Burke
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the voice of this story. It's very much why I read the older version of this series, and while simplified, it carries over well into the young version too. The morals are a little bit "plainly stated" but I don't think that's awful considering the simplistic voice ... I think too much complexity would ruin it. Good for younger readers and could show them a glimpse of how life elsewhere is the same in someways and different in others.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, africa, children-s
In anticipation for the latest installment of the #1 Ladies Detective series, I picked up one of AMS's easy readers for kids. It's cute and follows a young Precious Ramotswe through solving various events in her childhood. I liked how he would put pronunciations in parenthesis and took time to explain things in Botswana for young children to understand. There's also some extra info in the back, a map, and some group reading questions.
Charming mystery for young readers. Having loved the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, I had to check this one out. Precious is just as lovable as a child as she is as an adult. Fun and quick mystery- good audiobook for a family road trip.
Moushumi Ghosh
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one cute story that shows the provenance of the detective Precious Ramotswe. She is only seven in this story but shows all the talent for being a detective. Very endearing and engaging!

Read because you like the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series.
Jul 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Cute. I want to say that the backstory for Precious is a little too on-the-nose, but on the other hand it is a children's book.

audiobook note: Adjoa Andoh does an absolutely lovely job with the cadence and spirit of the characters' language. A delight.

Charming little story.
Really cute, but the title sort of gives the whole game away! 3.5 stars.
Una Tiers
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun, pleasant read about respecting one another from the child's point of view.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Precious Ramotswe series seems to be the precursor to the No. 1 Ladies'Detective Agency series. Precious offers young readers the opportunity to learn to not make snap judgements about classmates. Cake, muffins, and sweetbread go missing, and fingers point at the fat kid. Soon teasing and accusations linger in the classroom and playground.
Precious ingeniously solves the case. She bakes a cake with mounds of sticky glue in the middle. When the culprit comes for the cake, there is no way to g
Sarah Adamson
Awesome chapter book for elementary kids to introduce them to the idea of a mystery, a detective, the County of Botswana and some great character qualities to develop.
Very well written - some challenging words but inspiring and with wonderful flow as with all of AMS books.
The story is easy to follow and gives pointers without giving it away too easily.
The characters are wonderful - easy to imagine and relate to.
Overall a great story and inspiring piece of literature.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightful short read with my children, and a great time remembering the pure joy McCAll Smith pulls over with the Precious Ramotswe series. Ordered a few more of the youth stories to read with my kids. Great storytelling, wonderful vocabulary, and lovely introduction to a child's world living in Africa.
Laura Beth
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rating, review
I enjoyed the adult versions of these so thought I would sample one of McCall’s children’s books. I enjoyed this super fast read that was very reminiscent of his main series. Precious Ramtswe is the same inquisitive and kind person, just younger. His books aren’t crazy exciting but more of the everyday mystery life holds. 3.5 Stars
Susan James
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful story for middle grades

I’ve loved Precious since I met her I. The Number One Ladies Detective Agency. This story of her as a young girl with her first detective case is perfect for younger grades. I can’t wait to read it to the third graders at Leo Politi Elementary.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun little book and well-narrated in the audio version. The kids (ages 11, 8, and 5) all gave it 4 stars. I would give it a 3 but I am not the intended audience so I am letting their review stand.
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Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what ...more
More about Alexander McCall Smith...

Other Books in the Series

Precious Ramotswe's Very First Cases (4 books)
  • Precious and the Mystery of Meerkat Hill (Precious Ramotswe's Very First Cases, #2)
  • Precious and the Mystery of the Missing Lion (Precious Ramotswe's Very First Cases, #3)
  • Precious and the Zebra Necklace (Precious Ramotswe's Very First Cases #4)

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“You can lose a piece of plain bread and not think twice about it, but when you lose one spread thickly with strawberry jam it's an altogether more serious matter.” 0 likes
“But just because somebody has lots of sweets does not mean that he has stolen them. One thing, you see, does not always lead to another.” 0 likes
More quotes…