Clever Jack Takes the Cake

Clever Jack Takes the Cake

5.0 3
by Candace Fleming, G. Brian Karas
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Take a bite out of this deliciously funny original fairy tale, which received four starred reviews and was named a Best Book of the Year by Booklist, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and the Bank Street College of Education.

What would you do if you were invited to the princess’s tenth birthday party but didn’t have money

See more details below

  • Checkmark Kids' Club Eligible  Shop Now

Overview

Take a bite out of this deliciously funny original fairy tale, which received four starred reviews and was named a Best Book of the Year by Booklist, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and the Bank Street College of Education.

What would you do if you were invited to the princess’s tenth birthday party but didn’t have money for a gift? Well, clever Jack decides to bake the princess a cake.

Now he just has to get it to the castle in one piece. What could possibly go wrong?

Candace Fleming and G. Brian Karas, creators of the bestselling picture book Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!, have teamed up again to bring us a modern fairy tale starring a determined boy and a story-loving princess with a good sense of humor. While girls will fall for a story featuring a princess’s birthday party, Jack’s adventures with trolls, bears, and gypsies make this the perfect read for young boys as well—and ideal for storytime.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
Starred Review, Booklist, July 2010:
"An original fairy tale that has the makings of a story-hour classic. . . This standout picture book emphasizes resourcefulness and the power and pleasure of a well-told tale."

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, July 2010:
"The simple-but-expressive, cartoonish illustrations on textured paper and the delightfully clever design further distinguish this cheerful charmer."

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, July 19, 2010:
The creators of Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! celebrate storytelling with a sparkling specimen of that very thing. . .With muted tones and subtle textures, the pictures capture the tale's humor and Jack's earnest nature."

Starred Review, School Library Journal, July 2010:
This entertaining adventure is packed with action. Karas's schratchy gouache and pencil cartoon illustrations are as detail-rich as the text itself."

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
When poor young Jack is invited to the princess's tenth birthday party, his mother says he cannot go without a present. Determined to bake her a cake, Jack works hard to gather the ingredients. The resulting cake is beautiful, topped with a succulent strawberry. But on his way to the party, Jack is attacked by blackbirds, who carry away the walnuts that spelled "Happy Birthday." Next a troll demands a toll of half of the cake to cross his bridge. In a dark forest, Jack must burn all ten candles on the cake to get through. Distracted by a gypsy with a dancing bear, Jack loses the remaining cake to the bear who does, however, spit out the strawberry. Having only that left, Jack proceeds to the party, only to find that the princess is allergic to strawberries. But he finds a happy ending after all. This delightful tale begins and ends on the end pages; double-page scenes and vignettes show how it happens. Gouache and pencil produce a carefree, cartoon-y Jack and the many other characters who add to the texture of the story. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews

A winsome gouache-and-pencil landscape sets the stage--a hilltop castle, a messenger on horseback, an escaped letter fluttering under the door of a humble cottage. Young Jack, poor as dust, finds this mysterious missive--the king's invitation to attend his daughter's tenth birthday festivities. The boy bakes a cake for the princess, topping it proudly with the "reddest, juiciest, most succulent strawberry in the land," and his obstacle-ridden journey to her party the next day forms the core of this jaunty, well-told tale. Of the whole cake, only the strawberry survives the trip past thieving blackbirds, a greedy troll, whispering woods and a ravenous-yet–fruit-despising bear. When the princess's guard eats even that, however, all the perpetually undaunted Jack has left to offer the birthday girl is an elaborate account of his adventure. She loves it (and him) most of all, proving that the gift of story is better than rubies, especially if the story has a troll. The simple-but-expressive, cartoonish illustrations on textured paper and the delightfully clever design further distinguish this cheerful charmer. (Picture book. 4-8)

School Library Journal
Gr 3—A poor boy named Jack who helps a princess is a familiar trope in folklore. In this original tale, Jack accidentally receives an invitation to the princess's birthday party. He resourcefully gathers ingredients and bakes a wonderful cake. On his way to the castle, the cake is slowly demolished by crows, a troll, a spooky forest, a dancing bear, and even a palace guard, until the only present Jack has to offer the princess is the story of the cake's demise. Of course, this gift pleases her much more than the boring rubies and tiaras brought by richer guests, and she declares that her new friend will have the honor of cutting the royal cake. This entertaining adventure is packed with action. Karas's scratchy gouache and pencil cartoon illustrations are as detail-rich as the text itself. From the sly bear to the bored princess, the expressions are priceless. The endpapers provide context not included in the text: a party invitation blowing from the messenger's bag and under Jack's door at the beginning, and Jack regaling a fascinated princess with more tales at the end. A solid choice for most collections, and a good storytime choice, despite the smallish illustrations.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375849794
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
08/24/2010
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
228,157
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD600L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >