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The Donut Chef (A Golden Classic) Hardcover – September 9, 2008

5 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3—This cautionary tale tells of a baker who almost loses track of his true calling while trying to outwit and outdo a competitor. The donut chef is proud of his newly opened store, and his success becomes so great that another man decides to open his own establishment, vowing, "Your shop is through.../When my store opens next to you!" The feud soon becomes fierce, with each owner creating confections in bizarre flavors like "Peanut-Brickle Buttermilk,/And Gooey Cocoa-Mocha Silk," and in even stranger shapes. But sometimes competition can destroy, too, as the sweets soon lose "their taste. They'd lost their soul./They'd even lost their donut hole!" It takes little Debbie Sue and her request for a simple glazed donut to bring the chef to his senses. Soon other customers are clamoring for the same thing, and, now enlightened, the baker goes back to basics. The entire book has a retro tone, from its lengthy rhyming text to its Art Deco-style illustrations, which are updated with more modern-looking graphic shapes and a multicolored palette. The pictures are slightly reminiscent of Dan Yaccarino's work, but with much sharper, more clearly defined lines. Aside from a jarring mistake when a shop "selling round the clock" becomes one whose doors close "at six," the story's lively rhythmic text and colorful artwork should make it a good pick for storytime.—Jane Marino, Bronxville Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Review, Cookie Magazine, September 2008:
"The pro-simplicity parable is told via a funny, funky art style."

Review, The Wall Street Journal, September 20-21, 2008:
"Some books are meant to be tasted. . . and The Donut Chef appears to be one of them. Mr Staake's work is . . . visually delicious."

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, October 27, 2008:
"Everywhere readers look, there are delectable surprises."
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: A Golden Classic
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Golden Books (September 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375844031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375844034
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Follow the story of the donut chef, as he selects the perfect corner to create his store and builds up his clientele -- until that dastardly competition moves in next door and chaos ensues.

I usually avoid picture books in rhyme, as it's rare to find one that's done well. I can honestly say that this one works.

The text is strong and fun and the story itself engaging. The illustrations, with their geometric shapes, monochromatic colors, and varying textures, are sure to keep the attention of kids.

A perfect bedtime story with lots of re-reading potential!

Reviewed by: Julie M. Prince
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Format: Hardcover
A rollicking rhyme enlivens the beat of THE DONUT CHEF, telling of a baker who opens a business on a small street and watches the lines form for his famous donuts - until the competition arrives and a 'battle of the bakers' erupts. In an effort to out-do each other the donuts become stranger and stranger - but two-year-old Debbie doesn't want anything memorable, all she wants is a plain glazed donut. Can her needs change a baker's path? A fine story of competition and unique fare evolves.
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Format: Hardcover
I checked this book out of the library for my 3-year old daughter. She instantly took to it so I bought a copy for her to have. The story reads very easily and the colorful and imaginative donut illustrations captured her attention. And I love the moral of the story . . . that simple is often times better. A great, highly recommended book for preschoolers!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This beautiful, humorous, fun book was an instant hit in our house. It is one of those book, that both me and my kids agree that are simply great. They cannot get enough of it,
The story is vibrant and fun - A doughnut chef opens up a doughnut store, and after his success, another doughnut chef opens a store next door!
The two stores compete for costumers and in their rivalry, the chefs try to rise above each other in creativity:

"They made new flavors, quite bizarre
like cherry frosted lemon bars
and peanut brickle buttermilk
and gooey cocoa mocha silk!"

How does it all end? You'll have to read and find out.

What sets this book apart from others, in my view, are the REMARKABLE, nothing short of brilliant, illustrations. The illustrator, Bob Stakke, has a very unique graphic style, creating many characters, all of them funny and interesting out of simple graphic shapes such as circle, triangle and rectangles.
Each page is vibrating with color, with fresh and exciting composition, really - a feast for the eyes. My kids spent long hours just revisiting the drawings, every time finding out something new and funny. I simply adore this book, and I am happy to read it again for the gazillion time. Though the story itself might appeal to 3yrs old and older, the beautiful and vivid illustration of doughnuts, frosting and other delicious things will appeal to even a 2 yrs old. This will make a wonderful gift for a kid you like, especially if this kid is yours and you will be the one reading it over and over again.
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Format: Hardcover
My daughter (almost 3 years) loves donuts. She could say the word "donut" before she could say her own name. You can imagine her excitement when I brought home a book about donuts. Yum! This book is another winner. It has all the ingredients which makes for a great book: a good story, a fast pace, a bit of chaos and near the end a big scream "but I want... glazed!"

My daughter enjoyed this book so much, that the very next day she had to take it to school to share it with friends. The kids and I sat together at the table, and talked about donuts. And yes, they all like glazed donuts as well!

Great book for both toddlers/kids and parents!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is by far one of our favorite books! I have 2.5-year-old twins, and it's on constant rotation. The story is fun and the illustrations are great - always seeing something new! I've become a huge Bob Staake fan because of this book. Only downfall...it makes me want to eat a donut!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Bob Staake's books. This is one of my 6-yea-old daughter's favorites. She is learning to read it and already has The Red Lemon memorized. The pictures are beautiful and the story is really cute.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're intro "retro" art, like that done in the 50s, you need to check this book out right now. I actually thought from the cover and its designation as a "Golden Classic", this was a reissue of a much older book. Instead it appears to be first released in 2008, and the author is someone who does New Yorker covers (sorry, don't read it). In telling a tale of a donut chef who goes overboard competing with a similarly cutthroat donut chef next door, the author uses colorful, flat geometric shapes as a basis - both for pictures of donuts and for pictures of people and everything else. And there are lots and lots of donuts, lots and lots of people, and lots and lots of everything else on each page. I don't know how kids would react to that (I buy the books for myself as an illustration buff) but I sure could spend about a half-hour looking at each page.

I truly didn't think anyone was doing this style of illustration anymore and am thrilled to see I was wrong! The effect is like Dr. Seuss had a collision with a box of Colorforms. The little girl "Debbie Sue" who finally shows Mr. Donut Chef the error of his ways reminded me a lot of "Cindy Lou Who". It made me nostalgic, although the story is very modern. If only he'd made it "The Cupcake Chef" it would have been very contemporary indeed - but donuts get the point across just as well, and promote the beautiful use of circles, circles everywhere.
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