The Fine Round Cake

Arnica Esterl, Author, Olga Dugina, Illustrator, Andrej Dugin, Illustrator Four Winds $14.95 (17p) ISBN 978-0-02-733568-2
This adaptation of an English fairy tale offers a lavish variation on the story of the Gingerbread Boy. A freshly baked cake leaps from the oven and rolls ``on and on'' to escape a parade of resplendently attired creatures eager for a morsel. As expected, the cake's cockiness proves its own undoing, and a cagey fox reaps the tasty rewards. Calling to mind the rococo paintings of Gennady Spirin, the elaborately detailed artwork is truly sumptuous. The husband-and-wife illustrators make clever use of borders--inset illustrations reveal peripheral activity, and characters frequently trespass the paintings' boundaries, thereby accentuating the chase. For the most part, however, both the text and art bear a static quality that burdens the simple tale. The story is somewhat lacking in the sassy humor that fans of the Gingerbread Boy might expect, and Esterl's telling is at times repetitious. The cake itself is a curious creature with arms and legs (allowing it to run, rather than roll away, despite the text) sprouting from a squashed, homely face. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Genre: Children's
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