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Snickerdoodle Takes the Cake by Ethan Long

This is funny look at self-control and how sometimes we just can’t help ourselves even though we know better. It’s also a portrait of a happy family and coming up with a reasonable solution to a problem. Snickerdoodle wakes up early and goes into the kitchen where he sees his favorite cake, his mom’s lemon poppy seed cake with buttercream icing, made for his grandmother’s birthday. There is a note attached to the cake that says, “DO NOT TOUCH.” Snickerdoodle imagines his mother’s reaction were he to touch the cake, but he rationalizes that he can try one tiny crumb. However, this taste sends his taste buds into such rapture that he finds himself unable to stop his hand from scooping up a chunk of cake! When his mother comes into the kitchen and sees the cake, she finds Snickerdoodle hiding in a cupboard enjoying the forbidden cake. By the time they get back to the kitchen, Snickerdoodle’s brother and sister have helped themselves to the cake also and it is too far gone to be fixed. But Snickerdoodle has an idea: he and his siblings bake a new cake themselves and decorate it with icing. The illustrations make it clear that this cake is not nearly as pretty to look at as the original cake, with its lopsided layers and messy icing, but it was made with love. When they present it to their grandmother, she exclaims, “What a beautiful cake!” This time, Snickerdoodle is allowed to eat the cake, yet the book ends with his mom tracking him down in the bathtub where he is enjoying his third slice! We have all done similar things and it is nice to see the mother not overreacting and the children participating in the baking of a cake for their grandmother. Filled with humorous, cartoon-like illustrations that add to the fun.

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