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Archive for October 23rd, 2015

rude cakes 1

by Sam Juliano

Note:  This is the first review in the 2015 Caldecott Contender series that will be published at this site over the coming months, up until the January 30th scheduled awards date.  The books that will be examined are not necessarily ones that are bonafide contenders in the eyes of the voting committee, but rather the ones this writer feels should be.  The order they will be presented is arbitrary as some of my absolute favorites will be presented near the end.

You know the type.  Inveterate bullies.  Everything and everyone they engage with has strings of entitlement attached.  Words like “please” and “thank you” are alien to their nature and they are always violating territorial boundaries, swiping items that belong to others.  They are brusque, turn deaf ears on parental rules, and seemingly spend their time devising new ways to exploit laws of civility.  Forcing their way to the front of the line and greedily refusing to divide their gains well establish these narcissistic “rude cakes” as first place finishers in self-appeasement but at the very end of the line in veneration from their peers.  In other words they won’t be anyone’s best man or maid of honor, even with their wedding cake physique, nor will they ever be described as sweet regardless of the high saccharine content of their bodies.  If they stay the course they will gain little more than the proverbial pie in the eye from any man, woman or desert.

The very first picture book by the irresistibly named “Rowboat” Watkins, Rude Cakes showcases a baptism under fire for one who needs to be treated with his own medicine.  Watkins, who both authored and illustrated his maiden effort teaches his young readers the worth of humility and respect in a story where one is forced to incur a painful comeuppance.  Appropriately enough it takes putting the perpetrator in the same boat as those on the receiving end of this callous anarchy, with an extra degree of humiliation for good measure.  This pink double layer cake is invariably taught that being polite in the long run wins you so much more, and concurrently that there is always room for change. (more…)

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