Esterl FINE ROUND CAKE, THE

ISBN 13: 9780027335682

FINE ROUND CAKE, THE

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9780027335682: FINE ROUND CAKE, THE

A fine round cake escapes from the oven and eludes man and beast until it meets its match in the wily fox.

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3-- A handsome edition of a classic nursery tale. A runaway cake escapes from a series of pursuers but meets its match in a crafty fox in a red gown who invites him to come closer so she can better hear what he's saying. As adapted from Joseph Jacobs's "Johnny Cake," and translated back into English from the German, this text, although adequate, lacks Jacobs's lively country cadences. The story lines are essentially identical except that two girls replace the ditch-diggers in the original. The most noticeable weakness in text is in the final pages when the cake speaks only twice to the vixen and never gets to the point of screaming into her "deaf" ear, and nothing is mentioned of the fox's broad play at feebleness. Although Esterl's retelling lacks dramatic tension at this point, it does provide a vehicle for the elegant illustrations. The paintings of the vixen in particular have the wit the narrative is missing and make for a satisfying conclusion as she minces off the page with a smug smile. The figures are solidly constructed within well-designed compositions. The medieval costumes and architecture convey a fairy-tale atmosphere and are reminiscent of the art of Gennady Spirin, although not as robust. The roundness of the cake is repeated in circle motifs thoughout--a device that seems a bit forced, but that does achieve a most harmonious design. The placement of white negative spaces within the circular and rectangular frames gives the book a sparkling, graceful look and prevents the earth-toned illustrations from seeming heavy. --Marilyn Iarusso, New York Public Library
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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