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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This delightful fairy tale of a poor boy Jack who had nothing to give the princess but a story is utterly charming!,
This review is from: Clever Jack Takes the Cake (Hardcover)Jack was sitting on a stump next to his table when someone slipped an invitation under his door. He was amazed when he saw it was from His Majesty the King. It was an invitation to the Princess's tenth birthday party and he was really excited until his mother said, "What a shame you can't go." Well, he didn't see why not, but she explained that they didn't have anything nice enough to give her nor money to buy anything. Jack, who was not to be undone by things like that, brainstormed and decided he was going to make her a marvelously grand cake.
He did a little bit of trading, coaxed the hen and cow into giving their donations, collected a few walnuts, sought out the best strawberry in the patch, and "he dipped candles." When he had all his ingredients gathered up, "he set to work, churning, chopping, blending, and baking." No doubt, it was the most beautiful cake in the land, but soon he ran into some problems as he tried to make his way to the castle.
Four-and-twenty ornery blackbirds swooped down and stole the walnuts from the top of the cake. Oh, no. Not to be discouraged, Jack kept on the path to the castle, proudly holding the remains of the cake. He met up with an ogre who demanded his share of the cake, he had to use the candles to make his way through the dark forest, and then there was that foolish bear. "Shuffle-shuffle-kick . . . G-U-U-U-L-P!" The only thing he had to offer the lovely princess was a strawberry because Samson, the bear, hated fruit and then a guard gulped that down. What was the princess going to think about someone who had nothing at all to offer her? Would they even let poor Jack into the party or would he be the laughingstock of the town?
This delightful fairy tale of a poor boy Jack who had nothing to give the princess but a story is utterly charming. I loved the way this tale evolved as Jack slaved to make the perfect cake, but ended up with virtually nothing to offer the spoiled princess. From the four-and-twenty blackbirds, who liked cake better than pie, to the guard who loved strawberries, simply proved that if poor Jack didn't have bad luck he wouldn't have any luck at all. The surprise little twist at the end was scrumptiously heartwarming and made me smile. If you like fairy tales with happy endings, this is one that really takes the cake!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique tale of an ingenious young boy and his adventures,
This review is from: Clever Jack Takes the Cake (Hardcover)"Clever Jack Takes the Cake" is an engaging story that captivated my five-and-a-half year old daughter. Jack is a poor boy who lives with his mother in a run down hut. When he receives an invitation to attend the princess's 10th birthday celebration, Jack is eager to go but wonders, "What will he bring for a gift?" Luckily Jack uses his imagination and decides to bake the princess a cake (as to how he affords the ingredients, you'll just have to read the story! Let's just say Jack is indeed a clever little boy).
Well, Jack's cake turns out beautifully, and he leaves for the princess's castle, but encounters several things on his way - black birds, a troll, sinister woods, and a dancing bear - in the process the cake begins 'disappearing'! Will clever Jack have anything left to give the princess by the time he reaches the castle? This is a delightful little tale that focuses on imagination being put to good use, creativity, and friendship. It is quite an original tale with some familiar characters from other fairy tales, and has lovely illustrations that will engage young children's interest.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book!,
This review is from: Clever Jack Takes the Cake (Hardcover)When the invitations go out across the kingdom for the princess's tenth birthday party, Jacks mother tells him that he cannot go because he does not have money to purchase a grand gift. Well, what Jack does have is his cleverness. And so, he rounds up everything he needs to make a delicious cake. But, on his way to the party he runs into numerous adventures that eventually cost him the cake. Now what can he give the young princess? It turns out he might just have the gift that she wants the most!
This is a very charming story, with a great storyline that reminds me of all those great old time fairytales. The illustration work is very nice - somewhat primitive to keep the story might and childlike. Both my six-year-old and I enjoyed this book, and we have read it repeatedly. It's a very good book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Now THAT'S a story, Mom!",
This review is from: Clever Jack Takes the Cake (Hardcover)My 6-year-old boy LOVED this book when I read it at bedtime, as did my 3-year-old twins. (The title of this review is an actual quote from my older boy once the book was finished.) The tale of poor jack and his hapless cake kept them all rapt with attention, smiling at the end, but visibly sorry when it was through. A true gem.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book takes the cake,
This review is from: Clever Jack Takes the Cake (Hardcover)(Sorry about the title, I couldn't resist.) I love this book. So much, in fact, that I when I recently had to leave town on business for a few weeks, I stuck it in my suitcase the way a kid would stow away a blankie. If you want to see what comprises a perfect children's picture book, consider this a benchmark. The story feels like a classic fable, but it's kid-friendly, with a determined, resourceful protagonist we can all relate to. The writing moves along smoothly with tasty descriptions and a lovely page of rhythmic, roll-around-in-your-mouth prose that's fun to read aloud. But more than anything, it's the design and illustrations that knock me out. Every spread is elegantly composed, with the type and illustrations woven seamlessly together in ways that make the story flow and give fun bits of visual punctuation at key points. And don't be fooled by the child-like style of Mr. Karas' illustrations. Though his technique is loose, the compositions and their effects are very sophisticated. From the drama of Jack being attacked by a bold pattern of flat-black crows to the whimsy of a bear spitting a strawberry across across two pages, each illustration is wonderfully constructed to bring that episode to life. The endpapers, which establish the setting, and wordlessly begin and end the story, are the icing on this delicious cake.
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever Jack Takes the Cake,
This review is from: Clever Jack Takes the Cake (Hardcover)It is a great book. I am a storyteller and enjoy telling this story to the children. The children really like it!
4.0 out of 5 stars Our Jack loved this book,
This review is from: Clever Jack Takes the Cake (Hardcover)We donated this book to our school library in honor of our son Jack's 6th birthday. It is a cute story and it kept the kids attention when I read it to them. Good for boys or girls!
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book for young children,
This review is from: Clever Jack Takes the Cake (Hardcover)My grandchildren, ages 4 and 5, love this book! The illustrations are so good and the story is a gentle message of generosity and perseverance. The poor young boy in the story wants to give a gift to the princess and so he bakes her a beautiful cake for her birthday. That it never gets to her and why is what the story is all about. The book DOES have a happy ending!
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever Jack is a rollicking good read!,
This review is from: Clever Jack Takes the Cake (Kindle Edition)Love this book. Works while in combination with Jack and the Beanstalk to introduce "Jack Tales" - a form of folktale. Whimsical illustrations and a perfect, happily ever after ending.
4.0 out of 5 stars clever jack,
This review is from: Clever Jack Takes the Cake (Kindle Edition)Clever Jack was on the Texas Bluebonnet list for 2012-13. It's a folk tale where Jack, a poor lad, receives an invitation to the Princess's birthday. Unfortunately, he doesn't have anything to bring. He decides to sell the last of his family's things to make a magnificent cake. But unfortunately the cake is destroyed by the many encounters he faces on the way to the castle. Even the succulent strawberry that somehow survives the trip is eaten by a guard that explains to Jack that the Princess is allergic. So, as he is presented to the Princess without anything to give her he tells her his tale. She, a very bored looking young lady is thrilled to have a story and lets Jack, her newest friend, have the honor of cutting the cake. I liked the fair tale/folktale elements. And the fact that the Princess who had everything's favorite gift was a story. Something to share with our kids with everything. I didn't like the fact that Jack sold all his family's possessions for a spoiled Princess, and in the end, you just have to assume that he and his mom will be ok.
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Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming (Hardcover - August 24, 2010)