From School Library Journal
PreSchool-K—In this cheery book, a jolly, rotund baker begins his work at 5:00 A.M., taking "great care/to make one cream éclair" and concludes by 7:00 A.M. when "he knows just what it takes/to make twelve small cupcakes." He can then open his doors to greet a baker's dozen of eager customers. The star here is the oil paint on gessoed illustration board art, done in charming retro style. The two-line verse for each number appears in a crisp, clear font on a creamy pastel page, while the enthusiastic baker performs his artistry on the other. There is plenty of detail and interesting shading in the pictures to involve the eye, while at the same time the correlation between the numbers and the number of desserts is always obvious. It is refreshing to see someone who so loves and enjoys his work, and while the theme may be a bit contrary to the current campaign against childhood obesity, we all deserve a treat now and then.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
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"The icing drips and runs / atop four sticky buns." With a simple rhyme and clear, mouth-watering illustrations, this counting book is about a plump, exuberant baker in a tall, white hat who makes delicious goods, from 1 éclair to 8 warm strudels and 12 small cupcakes. Then, at the end, 13 eager customers ("a baker's dozen") come to buy the treats. In his kitchen with a big stone oven and no electronic tools, the baker "draws doodles / on eight warm strudels" and balances 10 little tortes on his finger. A final double-page spread lays out everything for a final count. The diverse names of the cakes, pastries, and cookies are part of the mix, and preschoolers will find the messy baking play as much fun as the food. Rochman, Hazel