Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Clever Jack Takes the Cake Library Binding – August 24, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Library Binding, August 24, 2010
$24.78 $8.00

Up to 50% off popular Children's Books
Featured kid's books are up to 50% off for a limited time Learn More
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 3 A poor boy named Jack who helps a princess is a familiar trope in folklore. In this original tale, Jack accidentally receives an invitation to the princess's birthday party. He resourcefully gathers ingredients and bakes a wonderful cake. On his way to the castle, the cake is slowly demolished by crows, a troll, a spooky forest, a dancing bear, and even a palace guard, until the only present Jack has to offer the princess is the story of the cake's demise. Of course, this gift pleases her much more than the boring rubies and tiaras brought by richer guests, and she declares that her new friend will have the honor of cutting the royal cake. This entertaining adventure is packed with action. Karas's scratchy gouache and pencil cartoon illustrations are as detail-rich as the text itself. From the sly bear to the bored princess, the expressions are priceless. The endpapers provide context not included in the text: a party invitation blowing from the messenger's bag and under Jack's door at the beginning, and Jack regaling a fascinated princess with more tales at the end. A solid choice for most collections, and a good storytime choice, despite the smallish illustrations. Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Fleming and Karas, whose previous collaborations include Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! (2002), offer an original fairy tale that has the makings of a story-hour classic. Jack is thrilled when he receives an invitation to the princess’ birthday party, but he’s too poor to buy a present. Determined to make something instead, Jack trades his ax and quilt for flour and sugar, scrounges up more ingredients, and assembles a beautiful cake, topped with the “reddest, juiciest” strawberry in the land. Calamity strikes en route to the castle, though, and after run-ins with four-and-twenty blackbirds, a troll, a dark forest, and a dancing bear, Jack arrives at the party with only the magnificent strawberry, which a guard confiscates: the princess is allergic. After anxiously watching the bored birthday girl receive her presents (“Another tiara? How dull.”), Jack confesses that he has only an account of his day to offer. Luckily, the princess is delighted: “A story! And an adventure story at that! What a fine gift!” Fleming writes with rhythmic repetition and delicious word choices that lend themselves perfectly to dramatic narration, while Karas’ gouache-and-pencil art expertly amplifies each scene’s action and mood, and creates endearing characters in Jack and his new royal friend. Like Simms Taback’s Caldecott Medal winner Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (1999), this standout picture book emphasizes resourcefulness and the power and pleasure of a well-told tale. Preschool-Grade 2. --Gillian Engberg --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Library Binding: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375956972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375956973
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.4 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,902,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Deb HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 14, 2010
Format: 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?
Read more ›
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My 5 year old loves this story and so do I! Jack is optimistic no matter what befalls him on his treacherous trip to the princess' birthday party...and the princess sees the truly special value of his gift.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: 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!
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Clever Jack Takes the Cake" is the charming tale of a young boy on a perilous journey to take a birthday cake to a princess' birthday party. He travels through dark woods and meets an ogre, a gypsy a dancing bear and has some adventures.

The book uses the classic children's story structure of building up and then down. (Think "there's a frog on a log in the hole at the bottom of the sea") The illustrations are so beautiful and the story is well told and nicely embellished with adjectives.

My four year old loves this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every time I read this story, I am physically in pain as Jack's magnificent present is yet again destroyed over the course of his journey and each time his efforts are redeemed in the end. Fleming's careful use of alliteration and onomatopoeia reads like the words of a skilled storyteller of long ago. A big hit in our house, our three year old chooses this book again and again. And we are only too happy to comply.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: 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.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
As the mom of boys, I am always looking for terrific fairytales that have nothing to do with a prince saving the girl. In Clever Jack Takes the Cake, Jack is determined to make the perfect gift but he doesn’t have any money. Instead, he throws all of his efforts into baking a cake. He’s already won my boys over with the fact that making a present can be just (if not better) than buying one.

Along the way, Jack runs into trolls, bears and gypsies. He has quite a serious adventure trying to make it to the castle. And little by little, his cake dwindles into nothing until he is left only with the strawberry on top. But the princess is allergic to strawberries!

Jack explains why he has shown up empty-handed; however, the princess believes he’s given her the best gift of all – a story. What could possibly be better than a story? A brand new friend, as well.

Both boys and girls will relish this tale, from the exciting journey to the realization that Jack gave the princess the one thing no one else had. With a heart-touching ending and Candace Fleming’s wonderful way of telling a story, you just can’t resist this book.(
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?