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Sun Bread Paperback – March 30, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sun, fun and dough are on the rise in this tasty picture book about a baker who helps brighten up her snowbound town. Joy and color have all but disappeared in the midst of a dreary, relentless winter: "The wind it whooshed, the snow it whirled/ / Bare trees shook like chilly bones./ Children grumbled in their homes." But the proprietor of Fiesta Bakery believes she has just the recipe to set things right. With her "loving touch," she fashions a sun-shaped loaf of bread that magically rises and shines, filling the townspeople's stomachs and spirits. The animal citizens' celebration stirs the real sun from its sleep, creating a ripple effect that spreads sunshine and happiness throughout the land. Kleven (Abuela) handles what could have been a sappy theme with a light touch. Her buoyant rhyming text brims with shimmering imagery ("It glittered on the blue-green seas,/ Wove golden ribbons through the trees") and has a consistent, fun-to-read-aloud rhythm. A menagerie of anthropomorphic animals cavorts and nibbles on sun bread in cheerful compositions of paint and collage. A good time (and good food) is had by all, and a recipe for sun bread on the book's jacket invites readers to join the fun. Ages 2-6.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreS-K-A wintry village inhabited by a variety of unlikely creatures is the setting for this rhyming tale about how the efforts of a humble baker restore the sun to a chilled world. Bellicose bears, argumentative monkeys, a lachrymose pig, and a depressed giraffe are among the distressed animals pictured. It's not until the town's baker, an innovative little dog, bakes a smiling bread in the shape of the sun that the residents have reason to rejoice and hope. As they share in the feast, their bodies as well as their spirits are so lightened that they rise into the sky. There they make such a joyful noise that the long-slumbering sun is awakened. The baker somehow intuits that it wants some of his special loaf and the happy villagers share it with the celestial body. Sunlight is restored to the Earth and returns the next day for the little baker's promised sun bread and buns. A recipe is included. This sunny tale is marred by an uneven rhyme scheme and awkward phrasing. The story also suffers from a certain incongruity and lack of logic as well. Why are tropical animals depicted in such an alien environment? Why does the sun want to eat sun bread? Kleven's characteristically charming folk-art-inspired collages far outshine the text in this instance.

Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (March 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142400734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142400739
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Miller on February 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is absolutely the best piece of children's writing I've ever read. The rhyme and meter are strong and playful. Kleven teases us with internal rhymes and alliterations. My three year old and I read this all the time.

The basic story line is that, on a cloudy day, a canine baker whips up a magic sun bread recipe that brings out the sun and everyone's joy. The book does to the reader what the bread did to the characters.

My three-year-old daughter and I made the recipe on the back cover, and I have to say it's a disappointment: dry and heavy. I'd halve the butter and maybe beat the egg whites for a lighter texture, but the idea is still great. The mold for the bread is cool too, and it looks happy in the oven.

A definite must-read-to-your-kids.
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Format: Hardcover
What I love best about it is the message - that happiness comes from within. The rhythm is nothing less than intoxicating and the illustrations are beautiful. I'm buying one for every child I know.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a second grade teacher whose students adore Sun Bread. The pictures are beautiful and the text is pure fun to read aloud (and chant along with!). The story also presents concepts about the sun in an eloquent and intriguing manner. "It melted all the snows away and brought the shadows out to play" is one of our favorite lines. We also love "It scattered rainbows soft and bright, [and] fed the plants with its clear light." What a charming introduction to photosynthesis! Sun Bread is a delightful, warm, and informative book. Tie it in with a lesson about the garden and breadmaking.
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Format: Hardcover
"The wind it whooshed, the snow it whirled,/The rain streamed down; it sloshed and swirled/And washed the colors from the world." It's cold and dark, dank and damp, and everyone in this little village misses the sun who seems to have gone into hiding. In fact, the baker missed the sun so much, she decided to bake a "sunny feast". She worked very hard on her dough until it was just right, shaped it just so, and "it seemed the sun shone in her hands!" Soon the smell of baking bread reached the entire town and everyone hurried to the baker's house for a piece of that wonderful sun bread. "Bread so brilliant, bright, and sunny,/Summer seemed to fill their tummies./Bread so fluffy and so fine,/They felt themselves begin to shine..." The sun bread made everyone feel so good, they forgot about winter and all the bad weather, and ran back outside to dance, play, and maybe, just maybe, coax the real sun out again..... Elisa Kleven has authored a charming and entertaining story that will definitely warm you up on those cold and wet winter days. Her lilting, rhyming text is only outdone by her marvelously bold and busy collage artwork, full of wonderful, expressive animal characters, and intricate detail. Youngsters will love poring over the colorful, and engaging illustrations. Perfect for kids 3-7, Sun Bread is a lovely read-aloud picture book the entire family can enjoy together, and includes an easy to follow recipe on the back cover, so that you can make and eat your own Sun Bread. "This bread, alas, won't make you fly. But it is heavenly - light and high!"
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Format: Hardcover
Amazingly talented children's author Elisa Kleven "gets" kids. From her inspiring "The Paper Princess" to her latest adventure, "Sun Bread," Elisa takes readers to a world only the heart understands. Her sense-filled words speak to the hopeful, imaginative, and soulful reader who longs to be taken to a place where magic is possible. Fall asleep on any of the pages in "Sun Bread" and you will be swept off the bleak, snow-bound street and drawn into the toasty home of the ever-cheerful baker. The baker, played by a cuddly brown dog, is a dreamer and a doer and, by example, shares her light with those who doubt. She doesn't preach or lecture. She simply bakes bread, shaping the dough into the promising shape of the sun. The aroma and taste of fresh-baked bread will fill your spirit with sunshine and fun as you watch an enthused animal cast lift their heads in hope. Elisa's "Sun Bread" is more than a book, it's a kaleidoscope of love you will want to share with your children again, and again.
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Format: Hardcover
Do your children love animals? How about cookies and bread? This book combines both. A loveable dog is the town baker. To encourage the return of warm weather, he shapes his loaf of bread into a likeness of the sun. The lilting rhymes in the book describe the wonderful aroma and rich, gold, smooth color and texture of the bread with power, sun power. It enticed the sun in the sky to part the clouds, come out shining brightly to behold this luscious bread created by the bakers loving touch. The recipe for sun bread is included in the book as well as colorful illustrations. Ah, the joy of cooking takes on a new meaning. Charming.If you and your children like "Sun Bread", take a look at, "And The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon" by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummbel, or "Fishing in the Air" by Sharon Creech. Delightful books for children.
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