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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Rude Cakes, written and illustrated by Rowboat Watkins. Chronicle Books, Raincoast. 2015. $22.99 ages 3 and up

" Rude cakes never
say please, and they
never say thank you,
and they sometimes
take things that don't
belong to them.
Rude cakes never
listen (especially when
their parents sound
boring) and they
never wait their turn ... "

Rowboat Watkins gives kids a choice in this book about manners ... and it is a choice that they will love! They can choose to be a Rude Cake or a Giant Cyclops. Which might you choose, if you have not yet read this story?

Turns out that Rude Cake is just exactly that ... rude. As you can tell from the opening quote, most of what it does is quite obnoxious, including the way it treats its four-tiered parents. It is a bully toward others, too.

So one night, when taken by a Giant Cyclops to a new and different part of the world,  it is quite astonished to learn that Giant Cyclops are a whole different kettle of fish. The first thing of note is that they think Rude Cake is a hat to be worn and admired. That is not all:

"Giant Cyclops always say thank you.,
and they always say please,
and they love to share."

And as sure as you can say 'please' and 'thank you', Rude Cake learns a lesson that will stand him in good stead with everyone he meets.

The soft gray backgrounds and muted palette of colors used by Rowboat Watkins are the perfect backdrop for a story that sends a message that is gently shared with humor and familiar situations. There are many gags to hold interest and make this memorable for those who share it. While quirky to the max, it is a welcome addition to the books that you might have collected that feature manners as the main theme. Entertaining, and great fun for story time with little ones.

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