Home-baked goods are always a welcome treat, but cookie exchanges and cake/cookie gifts are particularly popular in the winter. Although the sun hasn’t yet risen, Mrs. Bear and her son, Sam, are busily baking cakes. Sam is eager to deliver them to their friends, but he must wait until they are ready. Finally, it’s time to deliver the 12 cakes. To his delight, Mrs. Bear lets him sneak cakes to their friends’ front door…all by himself. When there are only two cakes left, it is time to return and enjoy their delicious work, along with warm cocoa and terrific stories. You Can Do It, Sam is a gentle and adorable story of a newly independent preschooler-like bear tasked with a very important job.
Toddlers are usually quite eager to “help,” particularly when someone is in the kitchen stirring up something very delicious. Benny is very proud to make his very own birthday cake. Benny’s primary responsibilities are sifting, pouring, stirring, and making sure Ralph (the dog) behaves. Unfortunately, as dog owners know, even dogs who “know better” can’t always resist stealing forbidden foods. Dad saves the day with a new birthday cake, all is forgiven, and Benny enjoys a very happy birthday. Although Benny Bakes a Cake is a short read aloud, toddlers will identify with Benny’s excitement over his birthday and his (short lived) disappointment when his cake is ruined.
Cumulative rhymes aren’t always great read aloud choices for toddlers, but The Cake That Mack Ate is one of my favorites. We see the cake that Mack ate, then the egg that went into the cake, the hen that laid the egg, the corn that fed the hen, and so on until we meet the farmer and his wife, who lights the candles on the cake. But who is Mack?
“This is Mack…
He ate the cake.”
Mack is the farm dog. We see a very satisfied (and messy) dog, followed by a picture of a kitchen in disarray and the upset couple. Guaranteed to elicit laughs!
Do you have any favorite picture books about cake?
Hest, Amy. You Can Do It, Sam! Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2003.
Rice, Eve. Benny Bakes a Cake. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1981.
Robart, Rose. The Cake That Mack Ate. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1986.