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A Birthday Cake Is No Ordinary Cake Hardcover – September 1, 2006


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Hardcover, September 1, 2006
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152057420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152057428
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 11 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Readers who think they're in for a celebration of smeared frosting and blowing out the candles may be surprised to find instead Fraser's (On the Day You Were Born) New Age musings on what a birthday cake means. "So hold on, bakers!," exhorts Fraser, as she proceeds, in full gym-instructor mode, to show the earth orbiting around a massive sun, rendered in a confetti-like spray of triangles and circles. "We're riding the Earth in a great spinning circle around the Sun, from your birthday to your next birthday.... You will need exactly 364 more sunrises, all clouds included." Metaphorically speaking, that means gathering up a year's worth of seasonally themed ingredients (e.g., "the sound of a returning red robin, singing. Simply open the window. Your bowl will catch it"). The cut-paper collages depict a toque-wearing, angelic-looking chef combining the fanciful ingredients with a wave of a wooden spoon; every few pages, Fraser returns readers to the perspective of an orbiting earth to underscore her theme. While her deep thoughts may not appeal to all readers, Fraser deserves plaudits for prompting youngsters to think of their birthday as more than an opportunity for presents. Recipes for a basic yellow cake plus vanilla and chocolate frostings round out this upbeat lesson. All ages. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3–A baker invites readers to savor a year by starting at any chosen date and assembling a fanciful (or real) birthday cake to celebrate the Earth's journey and their own. The recipes begin by having children collect the first sunrise after their birthdays and gather a host of nature's ingredients such as the sounds of a returning red robin, 12 full silver moons, a south-flying bird's shadow, and the sound of snowflakes falling. After collecting 364 more sunrises, the baker adds traditional cake ingredients. Pop-off-the-page, vibrant-colored cut-paper collage illustrations capture the fanciful and factual concepts. The back matter includes recipes for both cakes and frosting. The last page gives information about Counting Circles, and Frasier suggests that counting the rings of a tree's cross section is like counting birthday candles on a cake. This unique book blends a melodic, metaphorical look of nature with scientific topics. It is perfect for one-on-one sharing and is sure to prompt discussion. Frasier's many fans will appreciate this thoughtful offering.–Helen Foster James, University of California at San Diego
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Debra Frasier is the author and illustrator of many award-winning picture books including On the Day You Were Born and Miss Alaineus, A Vocabulary Disaster. In addition to her well-known talks on creative process, Debra's innovative "Book Events" build a community's creativity through projects that start with a story. Visit debrafrasier.com to see how a parade of words can make you laugh, how the alphabet can transform a school carnival into a Word Event, or how a talking dog can make your heart swell and teach first-person writing at the same time!

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
They love to chime in with Debra Frasier's short, poetic sentences.
Birch Teacher
My children are in a Montessori preschool and this book went so well with the birthday celebration done in their school.
Mommy of 2
And like Miss Alaineus, this book teaches us all that fun and insight are often a matter of how you see things.
N. Bennett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sarah B. Stein on October 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A Birthday Cake Is No Ordinary Cake is a cake recipe, science lesson, appealing children's book, and perfect birthday gift all rolled into one. I really enjoyed it. Debra Frasier's colorful illustrations seem to jump right off the page. The book unfolds as an interactive cake recipe listing all the things that you will need to collect in one year to make a birthday cake, including the first sunrise after your birthday and continuing through an entire year of natural phenomenon. Children learn about the seasons and about the earth's rotation around the sun while celebrating all the fun of birthdays and cakes. Kids love this book, and best of all it's perfect for bringing to birthday parties.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By N. Bennett on October 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Once again, Debra Frasier has combined a vibrant portrayal of a child's sense of magical possibility with useful and insightful lessons about our amazing world. Like On the Day You Were Born, this book reminds young readers that their lives are part of the grand and important movements of the universe. And like Miss Alaineus, this book teaches us all that fun and insight are often a matter of how you see things. Hats off to Debra Frasier for another wonderful book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Birch Teacher on March 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It has become our second and third grade class's birthday tradition for me to read this book to the birthday child. At this point in the year (March) the class has heard the book multiple times. They love to chime in with Debra Frasier's short, poetic sentences. They also pipe in when it's their "entering spot" during the cycle of seasons. We make a birthday book for the child to take home that is based on the vivid illustrations. It's been a wonderful way to honor the birthday child. Love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mommy of 2 on April 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book to illistrate what a year is to a small child. My children are in a Montessori preschool and this book went so well with the birthday celebration done in their school. They begin the celebration with a picture of the child at birth and then the child holds a model of the earth and walks around a model of the sun. After 1 full rotation, they stop and talk about the child at age 1. Then walk around again for every year of life. This book talks about how it takes the earth one full year to go around the sun and after it does, you get to make a birthday cake. It is done in a kid friendly manner with great pictures!
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