Author: Rowboat Watkins
Illustrator: Rowboat Watkins
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2015
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: Who knew that cakes were so rude?! In this deliciously entertaining book, a not-so-sweet cake—who never says please or thank you or listens to its parents—gets its just desserts. Mixing hilarious text and pictures, Rowboat Watkins, a former Sendak fellow, has cooked up a laugh-out-loud story that can also be served up as a delectable discussion starter about manners or bullying, as it sweetly reminds us all that even the rudest cake can learn to change its ways.
What I Think: We usually think of cakes as sugary sweet...but not this cake! I love the choice to play with words this way. As a parent, I also love how the author uses some examples of kids being rude that we might not always take the time to talk through with kids. The illustrations are super sweet and support the text perfectly. This is a great text to use when talking to student readers about paying attention to the words and the illustrations. If you don't slow down to look at the illustrations, you miss out on all the interactions between the characters that truly bring the story to life.
As a mentor text, this is a great book to start a discussion on manners and how we treat each other. So many of the examples of the little cake being rude could be acted out. And students could think about what the rude cake does and then what the giant cyclops does in contrast. This could even lead to a lesson on compare and contrast - looking at how the characters act similarly or differently in different situations. Students might even have ideas for what they do in similar situations that might be different from either of the characters.
I would also use this book to look at commas in a series and to think about story arc. Throughout the story, we see how the main character changes and it is clear that a majorly significant experience causes the character to change. We want to see characters change or grow in stories but knowing how to make this happen isn't always easy. This book makes for a nice mentor text for inviting student writers to first recognize what life-or-death type moment happens in Rude Cakes and then to think about their own writing.
Read Together: Grades K - 2
Read Alone: Grades K - 2
Read With: My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.) by Peter Brown, You Will Be My Friend! by Peter Brown, Don't Play With Your Food by Bob Shea, Wolfie The Bunny by Ame Dyckman with illustrations by Zachariah Ohora
Snatch of Text:
"Rude cakes never say please
and they never say thank you,
and they sometimes take things
that don't belong to them."Writing Prompts: Write about a time when you remembered to use your manners and how it helped you or made a difference in your situation.
Topics Covered: Family, Manners, Kindness, Caring
I *heart* It:
*Thanks to Chronicle Books for
a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review!*