Monday, November 22, 2010


Written by Candace Fleming
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 978-0-375-84979-4

FROM THE FLAP: What would you do if you were invited to the princess’s tenth birthday party but didn’t have money for a gift?

Well, clever Jack decides to bake the princess a cake.

Now he just has to get it to the castle in one piece.

What could possibly go wrong?

Here’s a deliciously fresh and funny picture book by the creators of the bestselling Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!

KATE’S TAKE: Sometimes a book makes me want to jump for joy, which is exactly what I did after I read this book.

FRACTION CAKES: Interpersonal and Logical/Mathematical
Cut out several different colored, large circles. Cut each one into different fractions such as: ½, 1/3, ¼, 1/5. Give each child a slice of cake. Then ask them to walk around the room and find the rest of their cake. When all the cakes are whole, ask them to line up in order from the smallest piece of cake to the largest piece of cake. Point out how with fractions the larger the number in the denominator, the smaller the fraction or the slice of cake is.

READER’S THEATER: Verbal/Linguistic and Interpersonal
If you’re looking for a story to act out as a class, this is a great pick. There’s a role for everyone and the dialogue is short and snappy.

STORY ELEMENTS LAYER CAKE: Verbal/Linguistic and Visual/Spatial
Give each child four strips of lined paper. Each strip of paper should have one of four story element headings: main character, setting, problem, and solution. Ask the children to write the appropriate information onto each strip of paper. Then, have them arrange these strips, the cake layers, in order from top to bottom on a piece of construction paper. With their pencils, they can outline each cake layer and top it off with a strawberry. Finally, they can outline their cakes with black markers.

THE TROLL’S BRIDGE: Interpersonal, Kinesthetic, Logical/Mathematical
Jack has to pay the troll, half of his cake, to cross the bridge. Set-up a small balance beam or a line of duck tape that crosses the classroom rug. Ask one student to be the troll. Give other students play coins that add up to a dollar. If you don’t have enough play coins, you can make them out of construction paper and write Q for quarter, D for dime, P for penny, and N for nickel, on each coin. Then have each student ask the troll how much money he or she needs to pay to cross the bridge. After the student pays the troll and the troll returns the correct amount of change, the student may cross the bridge.

WALTZING WITH BEARS: Kinesthetic, Musical, and Interpersonal
When Jack stops to dance with a bear, he loses his gift for the princess—his cake. Usually though dancing is a cause for celebration, not mourning. Show students the basic waltz step and ask them to dance around the classroom, or better yet, the gymnasium, while playing Priscilla Herdman’s “Waltzing with Bears.” Here’s the musician’s site

-Happy Birthday to You by Dr. Seuss
-Jack and the Beanstalk by John Cech
-Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young by Jack Prelutsky
-The Three Billy Goats Gruff/Los Tres Chivitos by Carol Ottolenghi
-The Lion's Share by Matt McElligott

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