Clever text and mixed-media artwork use the procedure of baking a cake as an obvious, comical metaphor for the process of creating a book.
The cartoonlike girl, whose blonde hair sports barrettes made of alphabet letters and punctuation marks, narrates in little rhymes that dance across the pages. “I am going to bake a book!” proclaims the verso in bold lettering between a rack of dangling utensils, flashcards and paper dolls above and a colorful clutter of art, writing and baking accessories below. On the recto, the girl’s face stares intently but happily above a mixing bowl that holds scraps of childlike artwork and bits of scribbled-on notebook paper. Her small hands grasp two sides of an enormous egg that apparently let loose the scraps. Curving above and parallel to the arc of the girl’s chair is written “I’ll break some ideas into a cup. / I’ll beat them, whisk them, mix them up.” All the elements of good storytelling—plot, characters, vocabulary and more—are included in subsequent pages bursting with color and excitement. The rhyme, rhythm and intricate artwork will keep the youngest readers interested, while beginning readers will understand the humor and enjoy searching for extra words inside the artwork.
As the trend of picture books praising the codex continues, few will match the light tone, originality and quirkiness of this one. (Picture book. 2-7)