Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming

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I can never name my favorite book because it seems to change every week.  This week its Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming and illustrated by G. Brian Karas.  I purchased this book based on the combination of author and illustrator, two of the most respected names in the children’s book world. I read it last night and today feel like walking up to every parent and teacher at our school and saying: “go to the bookstore right now and get this book.”

The story is about a boy named Jack who is invited to the princess’s tenth birthday party. The problem is that Jack has no money for a gift.  As the title tells us, though, Jack is clever and he decides to bake a cake for the princess. As Jack walks through the woods on his way to the party, I was reminded of Irene’s journey in William Steig’s classic book, Brave Irene (another one of my favorite books).  The two books complement each other perfectly and are nice springboards to discussions about character and the value of resourcefulness.

When  you see this book, make sure you begin with the endpapers. This delightful story begins there.  Possible Caldecott winner?


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