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Great Cake Bake

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Overview

When Mayor Fargenberg announced a cake-baking competition for the town's big Fourth of July celebration, Donna Rae Hadley started thinking. And as all of Danville knew, once Donna Rae got one of her big ideas, anything could happen.

Not just any cake would do for Donna Rae's entry. Of course it needed to taste wonderful. But her cake also needed all the drama of the Boston Tea Party. It needed to showcase patriotism, like the Statue of Liberty....

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Overview

When Mayor Fargenberg announced a cake-baking competition for the town's big Fourth of July celebration, Donna Rae Hadley started thinking. And as all of Danville knew, once Donna Rae got one of her big ideas, anything could happen.

Not just any cake would do for Donna Rae's entry. Of course it needed to taste wonderful. But her cake also needed all the drama of the Boston Tea Party. It needed to showcase patriotism, like the Statue of Liberty. It needed the pizzazz and excitement of Paul Revere's ride.

Even Mayor Fargenberg, who was secretly sweet on Donna Rae, could see a culinary disaster in the making. Bring your fork and your appetite to this spirited holiday bake-off, but don't forget your napkin. The cake will be flying.

When her town hosts a Fourth of July cake competition, Donna Rae tries to bake the best cake ever, but with every patriotic confection she makes, something goes wrong.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
What starts out as a great American tradition ends up as a food fight with a marriage announcement. Donna Rae is sure she will win the Fourth of July great cake bake with the most elaborate entry in all of Danville. One flaw with Donna Rae's cakes is that someone always gets hurt with her creations. That someone is Mayor Fargenberg. Her magnificent Boston Tea Party cake, complete with piers, sailing vessels and fountain of tea malfunctions as the Mayor closely examines the delicate confectionary delight. Her stunning Statue of Liberty cake, including gas-light torch was a blast—in more ways than one! Poor Mayor Fargenberg was left cleaner shaven than when he arrived. Donna Rae's final concoction, a replica of a cobblestone road and village where Paul Revere performed his famous ride, was truly the envy of all, even so far as borrowing her cousins' horse, Chester, for a dramatic effect. No mechanical malfunctions this time, but still the culminating cake event was upset with no cake left unscathed. Who won? Read this to find out as see who becomes engaged to be married, if you have not already figured that out. The text is engaging, the illustrations colorful, intricate and tight, and absolutely appropriate for this work. One tiny flaw—compared to other characters in the book Donna Rae appears quite juvenile, as if only a teenager, which seems out of place. This "flaw" is made up for by those delicious end papers of actual-size baking utensils. Bakers everywhere will applaud that talent. This is a fun story and meant to be ready anytime, anywhere. Enjoy! 2005, Walker and Company, and Ages 4 to 8.
—Elizabeth Young
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-A young woman enters every contest that comes her way-usually with disastrous results. Determined to win her town's Fourth of July cake bake, she tries some of her ideas out on the mayor, but her replica of the Boston Tea Party spews liquid in his face and her Statue of Liberty cake explodes when he lights the torch. On the big day of the contest, she arrives with a huge and elaborate confection that re-creates the town of old Boston, complete with a cobblestone street. Dressed as Paul Revere, she mounts a horse and gingerly guides it onto the cake. Suddenly, the animal rears and her entry, along with all of the others, goes flying into the air. The matter is resolved when the mayor announces that he and Donna Rae are to be married and next year, she'll be a judge, not a contestant in the bake-off. With detail and humor, the richly hued illustrations capture the look and feel of small-town America in a not-so-distant past. The art and the folksy telling are like a cross between a county fair and The Music Man. Children may enjoy the silliness of the pictures but are unlikely to relate to the competition, the mayor's affections for Donna Rae, or the neat and tidy resolution.-Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802789501
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 5/28/2005
  • Edition description: Ages 5-8
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Helen Ketteman grew up making cakes from scratch. Like Donna Rae, she sometimes had mishaps in the kitchen, including the double-layer cake that only measured an inch high because she forgot to add baking powder.

Helen wrote Heat Wave and Shoeshine Whittaker for Walker & Company. She has two sons, Greg, an archaeologist, and Mark, a biologist, who grew up eating their mom's baked goods. Helen lives with her husband, Chuck, and feline "daughters," Geraldine and Tigger, in Florida.

Matt Collins is an illustrator who likes eating cake. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Scientific American. The Great Cake Bake is his first picture book.

He lives with his wife, Amy, and their daughter, Charlotte, in Connecticut. Amy is a phenomenal baker, and Charlotte is learning to bake like her mother.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2007

    A reviewer

    The Great Cake Bake is Matt Collins first picture book yet, his work surpasses many veteran artists. His illustrations are vivid and polished, shiny is probably a better word. The expressions are animated, and comical. The illustrations are funny, and beg a second look. I also love the animal antics. On nearly every spread Donna Rae¿s cat and bunny rabbit appear in the scenes. Her pets are either peeking from behind a post, or struggling to get a better view. It¿s cute, and adds to the fun. This is my first experience with a Helen Ketteman¿s work, and I must say I¿m impressed. Ketteman¿s writing is humorous without over embellishing. She¿s description, yet the terminology is age appropriate. The book is recommended for children 5 to 8, which I think is appropriate as it takes about 5-minutes to read aloud. The author sets the scene, grabs the reader¿s attention, and keeps us interested until the end. This book has accompanied my 6-year old to bed every night in the last few weeks. He adores it.

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