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William and the Missing Masterpiece

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  202 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Handsome cat William finds himself at the centre of a mysterious case when famous masterpiece 'The Mona Cheesa' is stolen from a Parisian gallery. Who could be responsible for the theft?
Ages: 3+.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 1st 2014 by Templar
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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  202 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Although I didn't like this one quite as much as Penguin in Peril, I still enjoyed it. After all, it features William, a very smart and observant cat, and an art-related mystery that has a pun or two. The book's pencil and gouache illustrations are lively and will bring smiles to readers' lips. When a famous painting goes missing, William is quick to go to work finding out who is responsible for the theft. I enjoyed watching William follow his suspect, but didn't really care for his side trip to ...more
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read a description of Helen Hancocks' work as being "ostensibly for children" which strikes me as a very appropriate description. I loved this book and giggled my way though it. William is dashing with a hint of Inspector Clouseau. The plot is somewhere between a Cary Grant movie and an episode of Scooby-Doo. Dry wit and cheese puns abound.

Of course, this means that even though you'll find this on the picture book shelves, and it is filled with bright joyful pictures that kids will like, there
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: storytime, kids, funny
Très drôle! Slightly too wordy for my usual storytimes, but would work well with older preschoolers or elementary age kids.
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the wordplay in this story!
William the cat is about to go on a much needed vacation when he receives a frantic phone call from a museum in France where the most important painting has been stolen. So much for vacation. Off William goes to Paris to help solve the mystery. He finds a few clues at the museum but decides to take a walk and eat some lunch. While he eats lunch he catches sight of a strange character. He follows this strange individual until it's time to attend a party he promised to attend. At the party he sees ...more
Kaethe Douglas
William & the Missing Masterpiece - Helen Hancocks William bears a startling resemblance to our own reading buddy, Calder Alexander Eno, who is a very big cat. He'd be even taller than William , I think, were he to start walking about on his hind legs. William is trying to solve a mystery about an art heist during the Cheese festival. Calder is mysterious and is named after an artist. All of the humans and some of the cats in our house are crazy about cheese.
There was no way we weren't going
Christina Reid
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Had been meaning to pick this up for a while - I have a soft spot for children's books about art or set in museums/ art galleries or libraries. I liked the colourful, expressive illustrations, the setting in Paris and the clues scattered throughout which will get children engaged in predicting who the 'baddie' will be.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantasy. 2014. This is an excellent book to share with kids. The main character is a cat named William who needs to find the missing "Mona Cheesa". The story is humorous for children and adults. The story has clues within the pages to try and lead you to guessing who stole the painting which I really enjoy and think makes the story even more engaging.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was rather a clever and fun read. The 'mystery' was easy enough for an eight-year-old to work out (although the kittens were baffled). My only complaint would be whoever put black type on a medium blue background must not be over 40. :/

Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This should really probably only get 3 stars, but since I'm a French major and enjoyed all the fun French expressions and plays on words it gets a 4 from me.
Ania Gaska
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picturebooks
This is a very charming mystery solving cat!
Lisa Fabiano
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cat detective, missing art and a Paris setting make for a great mystery. Fabulous word play and a witty story line make this an engaging read aloud.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Parisian art gallery hires William, a mystery-solving cat, to solve the case of the missing Mona Cheesa. A fun story with plenty of cheesy wordplay.
Brittanny Handiboe
Someone has stolen the famous Mona Cheesa from a museum in Paris! Without a crumb of evidence to be found, who can solve this mystery in time for the National Cheese Week exhibit and painting competition? With his master detective skills and attention to detail, William the international cat of mystery can. Hancocks’ bright, bold illustrations and page design along with the likable main character cat William, makes this picture book delightful for anyone who enjoyed Handcocks’ other funny story, ...more
American Mensa
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a picture book about William the cat. He solves mysteries. He’s a black and white cat with green eyes and a red notebook. He reminds me of Pepper from another book I reviewed called Pepper and Poe. But William is different because he’s a detective. He wants to find the famous painting Mona Cheesa. My mom says we call it the Mona Lisa. William finds clues to get the painting back. He follows a strange person, finds a red strand of yarn and finds a hole in the museum. He calls his friends ...more
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This book is my favorite of all the children’s books I discovered this year. This whodunnit for kids is about William, international cat of mystery and his hunt for the painting stolen from a Paris museum – the Mona Cheesa. William’s friend, Monsieur Gruyere, is frantic to get the painting back because it is National Cheese week and his museum has been honored to hold an exhibit in honor of the celebration of cheese.

During his investigation, William lunches at a sidewalk café and rides a moped t
Jul 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cats
Compared with the succinct, clever text of Hancocks' first book "Penguin in Peril," the text of this book feels like a first draft. There are many unnecessary words (e.g., overuse of "suddenly") and many unnecessary characters (do we really need Henri and Fifi?), and I couldn't help feeling like no one edited this book (in terms of tightening up the text). Aside from that major disappointment, the story is silly and I enjoyed how the mice try to disguise the portrait.

PS: Fifi reminded me of Flor
Karen Arendt
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
William is a clever cat detective. He notices the clues left behind as will observant readers. Though the thief does give William the slip, William ultimately uncovers the thief, but not before the thief gets away. A fun book to read that will have readers guessing about the mysterious man. The play on cheese words is also entertaining for cheese lovers everywhere.
Aug 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-75-stars
3.25 stars A really cute book with so fun concepts! I love all the French in it as well. The Homage to Fromage is super fun to let's say it again all together "HOMAGE to FROMAGE" Fun and well written!
Great Books
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ages-5-8
William, a feline detective, is called away from his vacation plans to help the owners of an art gallery in Paris find the famous painting-the “Mona Cheesa”-before National Cheese Week is over. Figure out the guilty party before William in this cheesy who-dun-it!

Reviewer #9
Rebecca Plaza
Mystery solving cat in Paris! What's not to love? The Mona Cheesa is missing, oh no!

Problem solving step well illustrated.

Nice book!
Julie Flake
Cute art, but the story was just ok.
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Justin Bloch
We all loved this one. I loved seeing the classic paintings all cheesed up, and our daughter was very proud when she noticed the shady character at the same time as brilliant detective William did!
Odd and quirky but it has a playful side that will appeal to children quite text heavy but the setting and characters come though well.
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked that at first i couldn't figure it out but then there was a string by the mouse hole. And the mice actually took it down and colored on it and put it back.
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this book so much better the second time around.
The Mona Cheesa is missing! William, the International Cat of Mystery is on the case, and he quickly pieces together his clues. A fun introduction to the mystery genre for younger readers.
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I am an illustrator, currently living in Manchester, England. I graduated in 2011 and have been gradually developing my working practice since. I spend a lot of time staring into space, walking around, drinking tea and watching films until an idea very gentle hits me in the face. My first Picture book ‘Penguin in Peril’ was published in 2013 by Templar publishing and was the UK’s best selling debu ...more