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BUNNY CAKES by Rosemary Wells


by Rosemary Wells & illustrated by Rosemary Wells

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-8037-2143-9
Publisher: Dial

 The famous Max and his sister, Ruby, are the stars of this self-proclaimed brand-name production--A Max & Ruby Picture Book- -but there is no formula here--only extreme originality. To celebrate their grandmother's birthday, Max is constructing an earthworm cake while bossy Ruby declares that a real cake will be made. She begins whipping one up. Max, in the meantime, breaks the eggs, the first in a series of mishaps that lends repetition--the soul of story hours--to the plot. List from Ruby in hand, he is sent to the store each time he destroys an item, and attempts to add (in a preschooler's version of handwriting) his own sought-after ingredient, Red-Hot Marshmallow Squirters. Each time, the grocer understandably cannot read Max's writing; each time Max returns home, he finds that Ruby is attempting to keep accidents to a minimum by keeping him away from her work. At one point, she posts a drawing in which Max appears inside a red circle with a line through it. Wells's ingenuity never flags, not in the brief text nor in the illustrations. Her close-ups of destroyed ingredients and her many ways of showing two children in the same setting suggest she knows her subject well. Ruby's sloping iced cake is a gem, and Max's is grandly icky and visibly worm-infested: ``Grandma was so thrilled, she didn't know which cake to eat first.'' (Picture book. 3-7)