Baby sisters can be so annoying!

That's what Max thinks. Max needs his daddy's help—right now!—to bake a surprise Passover birthday cake for his mommy. But as baby Trudy fusses instead of napping, and Daddy tries to settle her down, their time to bake is slipping away.

With her warm and pithy storytelling, Michelle Edwards captures the ...
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Baby sisters can be so annoying!

That's what Max thinks. Max needs his daddy's help—right now!—to bake a surprise Passover birthday cake for his mommy. But as baby Trudy fusses instead of napping, and Daddy tries to settle her down, their time to bake is slipping away.

With her warm and pithy storytelling, Michelle Edwards captures the moment in a child's life when he realizes that he has the power to do things on his own.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Max is quite proud of himself. He can dress himself and almost tie his shoes, and he knows the Four Questions for Passover in both Hebrew and English. He's more than happy to show off this skill to baby sister, Trudy, who will, according to tradition, ask the questions at the Seder meal herself one day. In the meantime, though, he wants to "hurry, hurry, hurry" like the Israelites out of Egypt in order to bake a surprise birthday-Passover cake for Mama. He and Daddy will make it with a special Passover mix while Trudy naps. But the baby's fussiness keeps getting in the way of best-laid plans. Frustrated, Max decides to take matters into his own hands. Cream cheese and red jam mixed together make a delicious frosting. But what about the cake? Getting creative, the youngster fashions a "layer" cake (matzoh-frosting-matzoh) for the perfect "hurry, hurry, hurry" Passover cake. Santoso's realistic digital renderings of Max's face capture the expressions of one determined little boy. A recipe and a short description of the Passover story are included. A light introduction to a Jewish holiday.—Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA
Publishers Weekly
It’s Mom’s birthday, so she has to have a cake. But Dad has baby duty, and it’s looking less and less likely that he and son Max will be able to make the kosher-for-Passover cake mix they bought at the supermarket. Unable to wait any longer, Max invents a chametz-free cake that’s “different from all other cakes” and well within the grasp of any young, aspiring chef: a stack of matzo that uses jam-sweetened cream cheese for frosting and filling. In his first book for children, illustrator/concept artist Santoso astutely renders Max’s journey from itchy exasperation to triumphant ingenuity, while Edwards (Room for the Baby) makes some nice parallels between his impatience and the “hurry, hurry, hurry” that characterized the ancient Israelites’ flight from Egypt. The ending is ripe for replication. Ages 3–7. Illustrator’s agent: Shannon Associates. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
This charming story of a young Jewish boy as he helps his family prepare for Passover and his mother’s birthday authentically reflects the sometimes confusion of family life and the impatience of a young child. Max is waiting to make a surprise birthday cake with his father, but his fussy baby sister is distracting dad as he has to deal with her so that mom can go on working. Max waits patiently while thinking about the meaning of Passover. Finally, he cannot wait any longer, thinking about the frosting for the cake, Max takes cream cheese and jam from the frig, mixes them together until it tastes just right and continues to wait on his father to get his baby sister to sleep. Max tries tasting the frosting on a matzo cracker, just to see if it is ok then gets the idea to make the cake by frosting many matzoh crackers and stacking them like a cake. When Max shows his family what he has accomplished they cheer his efforts. A short recipe for Max’ cake is included as well as a brief story of Passover. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.; Ages 3 to 6.
Kirkus Reviews
Edwards offers a story about Passover, but it might be a bad idea to read it during the holiday—particularly toward the end. It's Mama's birthday and the first night of Passover, and Max is intent on baking her a cake. Max's dad is busy with the new baby, and he doesn't have time to help. Max comes up with a novel solution: He stacks pieces of matzo into a huge pile and covers them with jam and cream cheese. He even finds a tiny candle and places it on top for his mother's birthday. A piece of matzo—as Jewish readers will know—is a flat, tasteless cracker, which Jews eat on Passover as bread is forbidden during the holiday. The holiday lasts for more than a week, so as inventive as Max's solution is, observant Jews may think: There is nothing less appetizing than a giant stack of matzo. Readers will admire Max's creativity, no matter how they feel about unleavened bread. They may be less happy with the stilted dialogue. Max tells his sister, "A long time ago, the Jews were slaves in Egypt. When Pharaoh freed them, they had to hurry, hurry, hurry away with their bread on their backs." Max's zeal is charming, but readers may find themselves thinking, more than once: No child has ever said that sentence. Well-intentioned but, alas, as dry as matzo. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375981470
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2014
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • File size: 20 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

MICHELLE EDWARDS is the author of more than sixteen books for children, some of which she illustrated, including Chicken Man, which won the National Jewish Book Award. Her newest picture book is Room for the Baby, illustrated by Jana Christy. A lifelong knitter, Michelle has also written an adult title, A Knitter's Home Companion. She lives with her family in Iowa City.

CHARLES SANTOSO has worked as an illustrator on animated feature films, most notably Legend of the Guardians, and on television commercials. His drawings and paintings have been exhibited in gallery shows in Australia, North America, and France. Max Makes a Cake is his first book for children. Charles lives and works in Sydney, Australia.
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