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Children's LiteratureAlthough a birthday is the cause for celebration in this lively little book, there is much more happening. Ten cooks arrive one by one and each has a contribution to the cake. Interaction by readers is encouraged by the addition of "knocks" escalating in number with each turn of the page. Rhyming text, often employing onomatopoeia, encourages young listeners to add their own sounds. A multicultural mix of characters engages readers across ethnic lines. Even when the big surprise emerges in the form of a huge cake, there is yet more to enjoy. Tips for cooking with children, math used in measuring, and even a recipe for the luscious chocolate cake with icing complete the text. What a delightful combination of ingredients in a picture book! Coffelt adds an author's note identifying three of the chefs as her mother, her son, and herself. She has even included her dear old cat, Sapphire. Prediction: children will enjoy this book so much they will not even realize they are learning to count. 2003, Chronicle Books, Ages 3 to 6.
— Janice DeLong