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Clever Jack Takes the Cake

Candace Fleming

This book had us with the first glance at one of the pictures with a bear in a fez. But if you would like more info, here’s what Kirkus says:

 

“The creators of Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! celebrate storytelling with a sparkling specimen of that very thing. Too poor to buy a birthday gift for the princess, Jack decides to make her a cake. He trades for ingredients, giving a hen seed for two eggs and kissing a cow for a pail of milk, and tops his confection with the “most succulent strawberry in the land.” Jack proudly sets off for the castle, but blackbirds, a troll, and a dancing bear devour parts of the cake. He remains upbeat, even when only the berry remains-to which the princess is allergic.

When Jack explains to the royal (who’s bored by the jewels she’s received) what became of his present, she is delighted: “A story! ... And an adventure story at that! What a fine gift.”

Karas’s gouache and pencil illustrations have a folksy quality and match the understated emotions conjured in Fleming’s prose. With muted tones and subtle textures, the pictures capture the tale’s humor (the dancing bear wears both a fez and a sly expression as it does its “shuffle-shuffle-kick”) and Jack’s earnest nature.”

-Kirkus Reviews, July 2010, starred review

 

Illustrator G. Brian Karas
Page Count 40
Part of a Series? No
Age Level 4 — 5 — 6 — 7
 

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