Clever Jack Takes the Cake
written by Candace Fleming; illustrated by G. Brian Karas
(Schwartz and Wade Books) 2010
Source: Orange County Public Library
Jack receives an invitation to attend the princess's tenth birthday party, but he has no money to buy a birthday gift. He is quite the smart young man, so he decides to barter and use kindness to gather the ingredients to make a scrumptious cake for the princess. It's a long walk to the castle, and along the way Jack runs into several obstacles including a troll and a bear. Each obstacle involves negotiation and seemingly bad luck so as he travels, Jack loses a part of his cake until there is nothing left to present to the princess. What Jack does have is his considerable wits which leads to a happy ending.
Clever Jack Takes the Cake is a humorous fairy tale with an admirable lead character. Jack doesn't complain but uses his brain to figure out what to do next which is a great trait to discuss with children. This book is also terrific for working on predicting. My students had several opportunities where we could discuss what we thought would happen next. Thumbs up from the kindergarten class for Clever Jack Takes the Cake.
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