cover image The Biggest Birthday Cake in the World

The Biggest Birthday Cake in the World

Elizabeth Spurr. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-207150-9

When the Richest (and Fattest) Man in the World turns 40, he orders his staff of 100 cooks (and three vice-presidents) to bake him the Biggest Birthday Cake in the World. At first he plans to eat the prodigious pastry all by himself, but when children, drawn by the delectable smell, come from miles around to wish him a happy birthday, he has a change of heart. Everyone dives in--literally--for a magnificent feast, making the Most Horrendous Mess in the World. Characterizations are deftly drawn here, particularly the vice-presidential ``yes men'' with their amusingly accented assents: `` Rav -en-ous . . . Vo- ra -cious . . . Ra- pa -cious.'' Spurr's droll text and Litzinger's zany illustrations blend like butter and chocolate, making an entertaining slapstick comedy that is greater than the sum of its parts. No matter how you slice it, this cake--flavored with a sweet message about sharing--is a delicious confection. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)