Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake by Michael B. Kaplan

betty-bunnyCindy: I have found a kindred spirit–someone who loves baked goods as much as I do in Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake (Dial 2011)! When Betty Bunny is first offered some chocolate cake, she isn’t so sure…she hasn’t had it before and she’s not very good at trying new things. But then she tastes it and she doesn’t just LOVE it…she announces, “When I grow up I am going to marry chocolate cake.” And so begins a  funny and honest tale of childish obsessions, tantrums, sibling relations, nutrition, honesty and dishonesty, moderation….and perseverance. Betty Bunny is a handful as her mother says, but I love her and her carrot barrette so much I almost want to marry her when I grow up. I definitely would at least like to enjoy a piece of chocolate cake with her while we discuss my progress on the South Beach diet that does not include chocolate cake…sigh.

Lynn: Betty Bunny is a big hit at our house and I’m not sure who likes it more – the focus group or me.  The boys like it for the humor and for their wonderful smug understanding that, at the ripe of age of 7, they are FAR smarter than Betty Bunny.  Not only do they know what chocolate cake is but they also know that putting a slice in your pocket for the day leads to catastrophe.  Ah the wisdom of advanced age!  It makes the joke in the story so much funnier and this is going to make a terrific read aloud for the K-2nd Grade set.  There’s some naughty behavior and consequences too and there’s nothing better than watching someone else misbehave – and pay the price!  The boys shake their heads at Betty’s shocking behavior, happy in the knowledge that they aren’t the ones going without supper!

I love this book too.  Stephane Jorisch’s illustrations are adorable without being sticky sweet.  Together, author and illustrator have totally nailed this authentic depiction of a 3-4 year old child!  Every parent out there will recognize Betty Bunny with her single-minded persistence and impulsive actions that sometimes surprise even herself.  And then there is the issue of food.  Betty isn’t good about trying new things:

I hate chocolate cake.  Chocolate cake is yucky.

What’s chocolate cake?

Sound familiar anyone?  Since the focus group contains one of the pickiest eaters on the planet, this may be my favorite part.  Don’t miss this fun book – it’s a sweet treat!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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