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  • Clever Jack Takes the Cake
  • Written by Candace Fleming
    Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
  • Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9780375849794
  • Our Price: $17.99
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  • Clever Jack Takes the Cake
  • Written by Candace Fleming
    Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307982575
  • Our Price: $10.99
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Clever Jack Takes the Cake

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Written by Candace FlemingAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Candace Fleming
Illustrated by G. Brian KarasAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by G. Brian Karas


List Price: $10.99


On Sale: October 31, 2012
Pages: 40 | ISBN: 978-0-307-98257-5
Published by : Schwartz & Wade RH Childrens Books
Clever Jack Takes the Cake Cover

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Take a bite out of this deliciously funny original fairy tale, which received four starred reviews and was named a Best Book of the Year by Booklist, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and the Bank Street College of Education.

What would you do if you were invited to the princess’s tenth birthday party but didn’t have money for a gift? Well, clever Jack decides to bake the princess a cake.

Now he just has to get it to the castle in one piece. What could possibly go wrong?

Candace Fleming and G. Brian Karas, creators of the bestselling picture book Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!, have teamed up again to bring us a modern fairy tale starring a determined boy and a story-loving princess with a good sense of humor. While girls will fall for a story featuring a princess’s birthday party, Jack’s adventures with trolls, bears, and gypsies make this the perfect read for young boys as well—and ideal for storytime.
Candace Fleming

About Candace Fleming

Candace Fleming - Clever Jack Takes the Cake

Photo © Scott Fleming

 Why did I write Clever Jack Takes the Cake? Mostly for fun, but also because I wanted to try my hand at writing a fairy tale. I do that a lot as a writer—challenge myself to try new things—and tackling a fairy tale was definitely a new thing. So how to begin? 

I knew I wanted my story to have a classical feel, incorporating such wonderfully delicious fairy-tale elements as four-and-twenty blackbirds, enchanted forests, and hairy trolls. On the other hand, I wanted it to be totally original, a story like no other. I began writing, and within a few weeks had a tale. But let me tell you a curious truth about writers—they are the stories they write, the fictions they spin. And when I read back what I had written, I realized I had created a fairy tale about . . . me. Weird, but true! The story is filled with my favorite things—journeys and birthdays and cake. The princess, taking after my son Scott, is allergic to strawberries. And Jack? Just like me, he good-naturedly follows life’s road, gathering experiences he can spin into tales.

Spinning experiences into tales is what I did with The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School, too. I visit lots of school, and there’s nothing I like better than talking with kids, watching them in the lunchroom or on the playground, reading their essays and stories, listening to them tell jokes. And all the while I’m doing these things, I’m thinking about how I can use them in a book. Let me give you an example. A few years ago, I was visiting a school in Tennessee when a fifth-grade boy came up to me and said, “Look what I can do.” He stuck out his tongue, crossed his eyes and wiggled his ears – first the left one, and then the right one. I was impressed—but I hadn’t seen anything yet! Within seconds, the rest of the fifth graders surround me. Everyone, it seemed, had some special body trick to show me—double-jointed fingers and toes, eyelids that folded, lips that could be pulled up over noses, knuckles that cracked to the tune of “Yankee Doodle.” It was absurd and wonderful, and I knew I had to write about it. The result? Chapter five titled, “Hyper . . . Um . . . Hypermob . . . Um . . . Weird Body Tricks.”

Praise | Awards


Starred Review, Booklist, July 2010:
"An original fairy tale that has the makings of a story-hour classic. . . This standout picture book emphasizes resourcefulness and the power and pleasure of a well-told tale."

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, July 2010:
"The simple-but-expressive, cartoonish illustrations on textured paper and the delightfully clever design further distinguish this cheerful charmer."

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, July 19, 2010:
The creators of Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! celebrate storytelling with a sparkling specimen of that very thing. . .With muted tones and subtle textures, the pictures capture the tale's humor and Jack's earnest nature."

Starred Review, School Library Journal, July 2010:
This entertaining adventure is packed with action. Karas's schratchy gouache and pencil cartoon illustrations are as detail-rich as the text itself."


NOMINEE 2014 Georgia Children's Book Award
WINNER 2010 Parents' Choice Recommended
WINNER 2010 Booklist Children's Editors' Choice
WINNER 2010 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
WINNER 2010 Kirkus Reviews Best ChildrenÂ’s Books
WINNER 2010 New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
FINALIST Bank Street Child Study Children's Book Award
WINNER ALA Notable Children's Book
NOMINEE New York State Charlotte Award
NOMINEE Texas Bluebonnet Master List
NOMINEE Nebraska Golden Sower Award
NOMINEE Indiana Young Hoosier Award
NOMINEE Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award
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