Thursday, December 02, 2010

Clever Jack Takes the Cake

Clever Jack Takes The Cake
by Candace Fleming
illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Random House (Schwartz & Wade), 2010
Review copy provided by the publisher

I'm guilty and I'll freely admit it: I judged this book by the cover when it arrived. "Another folk tale. Meh." And I set it aside for later.

Then, at NCTE, as I browsed the books in the Random House booth, I noticed all the stars adorning it. Hmm. Maybe I better take another look.

Was I ever wrong about this book! It does lean on all the other "clever Jack" tales for the basic "succeed by using your wits, even if everything possible goes wrong" story line, but it is fresh and original and...I'm sorry...clever! There's no way around it, it DOES...take the cake!

Jack is invited to the princess's 10th birthday, but he has nothing to take for a present. Read to find out how he manages to bake her a cake and how he manages to show up at the throne with nothing but the story of making and losing the cake. Read to find out what the princess thinks of her gift. (Study the end papers to see what happens before and after the story in the text.) Read to be delighted. Reread to take a closer look at the illustrations. Clever Jack, Clever Candace, Clever Brian. Lucky us.

Other Reviews:
100 Scope Notes
7 Imp
Heavy Medal

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