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Eight Animals Bake a Cake

"Eight animales, ready to bake,
get out of bed to go bake a cake.
Mouse brings the sugar, one heavy cup.
Ratón says, 'Azúcar will start things right up.'"

Mouse, Cat, Dog, Frog, Bird, Horse, Cow, and Pig are back!  This time they each bring an ingredient to bake a cake.  But something goes terribly wrong! Then Vaca and Pájaro have an idea to save the day. This rhyming English book incorporates 30 Spanish words into its text, with a glossary in the back.

Illustrated by Lee Chapman
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons

Illustrations on this page are copyrighted by Lee Chapman 2002.


Nominated for the 2003-2004 Georgia Picture Storybook Award


Publisher's Weekly

"Having made a bilingual foray to the market in Eight Animals on the Town, Ratón (Mouse), Gato, (Cat) and friends now tackle the culinary arts -- and add 33 Spanish vocabulary words -- in Eight Animals Bake a Cake by Susan Middleton Elya, illus. by Lee Chapman. Each animal brings one ingredient to the cake-baking session (recipe appears at the end): "Dog brings the egg, one huevo to beat. / 'Hurry up, Perro says, I want to eat.'" Chapman's paintings glow with south-of-the-border colors and a Mexican folk-art spirit; whimsically patterned frames contain translation equations ("Dog = Perro," "Egg = Huevo" and so on)."


"The clever format of this delightful story will have even the youngest children speaking and understanding Spanish. The ocho animales featured in Elya's previous Eight Animals on the Town (2000) come together to bake a cake, each bringing one ingredient. The friends stir the batter, place it in the oven, and listen to Bird sing as they try to be patient. The table is all set and ready, but when the cake lands on the floor, all seems lost. As the animals lament their ruined dessert, Cow sends Bird flying off with some cash. When she returns, she carries a large prickly fruit, piña, which Cow uses to save the day. Families can enjoy the same dessert -- the recipe follows the story. Each of Elya's couplets seamlessly introduce or reinforce two Spanish words, while the cunning rhyme scheme helps readers with their pronunciation. From the names of the eight animals and the ingredients they contribute, to the common household objects they come across, there is no doubt as to the meaning of the new vocabulary. As the tale progresses, the animals are referred to only by their Spanish names, while clues in the couplets and illustrations help readers remember their meanings. While the story is amusing and educational, it is the novelty of hearing and learning a new language. combined with the marvelously colorful illustrations that will capture and hold children's attention. A Mexican influence is apparent in Chapman's (Doggie Dreams, 2000) detailed illustrations -- from the bright colors of the equator and the palms and cacti, to the geometric border, the folk art-inspired drawings are sure to please. A glossary and a pronunciation guide is included, although the articles associated with Spanish nouns are absent. An appealingly painless introduction to another language."
(Picture book 4 - 8).


"Another winner from the team who created Eight Animals on the Town (2000). Eight (ocho) animals prepare to bake a cake, each one bringing an important ingredient. When it's time to take it out of the oven, a fight over who will do it results in cake splattered everywhere. Horse (caballo) ? saves the day by buying pineapple and cherries to turn the disaster into -- pineapple upside-down cake! The story is told in rhyme, with Spanish interspersed throughout the English text; a glossary and pronunciation guides are conveniently located in the front of the book, and key Spanish words appear in the picture borders. Framed illustrations in hot pink, fuchsia, and teal blue accentuate the action and reactions. A winning story, amusing art, Spanish vocabulary, and a recipe for pineapple upside-down cake are compatible ingredients for a delicious picture book,

clever in both concept and design." Olé! -- Julie Cummins

School Library Journal

"Following the same format as Eight Animals on the Town (Putnam 2000), with Spanish words carefully integrated into the text, endearing animals each bring an ingredient for the cake they hope to bake. "Dog brings the egg, one huevo to beat. 'Hurry up,' Perro says. 'I want to eat.'" Each neatly rhymed couplet is accompanied by a framed and bordered illustration that extends the humor of the text. Perro prances merrily down the path, balancing his huevo jauntily on his nose, to the amazement of some watching chickens. The English translations of the Spanish words appear in the borders so there is no interruption or confusion in the story line. The paintings are a richly colored combination of cartoon and Mexican folk art that perfectly captures the animals' eager anticipation. Most libraries will agree with these delightful characters when they say, "Más, por favor."
--Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

Los Angeles Family

"Uh oh, what are eight (ocho) animals to do when the cake they bake drops on the floor after taking it out of the oven (horno)? Have no fear because with a little bit of money (dinero) and some clever thinking by Cow (Vaca), the surprise at the end will be worth the wait. Cleverly written by Susan Middleton Elya and vibrantly illustrated by Lee Chapman, Eight Animals Bake a Cake combines two languages into one delightful book about cooking, eating, and the love of good friends. Plus, there is a glossary and pronunciation guide for all of us gringos."
--Debra Mostow Zakarin


Contra Costa Times Newspaper

"A delightful bilingual dessert served in rhyming Spanish and English. Eight familiar animals decide to bake a cake, each one contributing an ingredient. When the inevitable disaster occurs with "cake on the ceiling and more on the floor," the cow and the bird swiftly solve the crisis. Soon eight animals dine on pineapple upside-down cake (recipe included). Chapman's lighthearted, colorful illustrations turn the feast into a fiesta.
--Joanna H. Kraus

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