Oh Look, a Cake! by J.C. Mckee

 

Oh Look, a Cake! 
Review Copy from Clarion Books

When Sloth and Lemur come across a big, beautifully decorated cake they decide to have a party. But, who to invite proves problematic. Each potential guest has their own uniquely hilarious downside. In the end, the duo decide to eat the cake themselves only to learn there are consequences for their actions.

McKee takes a simple plot with a subtly built in lesson and, through engaging characters, crisp illustrations, and a yummy palette, creates a picture book that is a delight to read! Cake, of course, especially cake as imagined and illustrated by McKee, is the first draw of Oh Look, A Cake! McKee improves on this cake with his two protagonists. Sloths are always excellent picture book characters and I was especially excited to see McKee pair a sloth with a lemur! I've had the privilege of seeing lemurs at my local wild animal park (as well as having watched the Kratt Brothers show from 1999, Zaboomafoo) and think McKee's pairing here is perfect. 

I also especially enjoyed Sloth and Lemur's attempts to find party guests to share this gorgeous cake (with a tiger striped candle on top . . . ) with and their reasons for rejecting them. Some are obvious - Elephant will eat the whole cake. Tiger will eat the whole cake AND the guests. Peacock, Porcupine and Horse are ruled out as well. While their reason for passing over Turtle ("Sugar does things to him") and the accompanying image made me laugh out loud, the page where Sloth and Lemur debate the merits of inviting Ant is clever and imaginative - as is the illustration and the way that McKee weaves them throughout the book - and will have you thinking about it long after you have finished reading. The ending of Oh Look, A Cake! will call to mind the unexpected, sort of ambiguous ending of Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back, and leave readers thinking and wondering in the best way possible.


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