Today is the 58th anniversary of my 5th birthday and I’m highlighting one of my very favorite books for children. Benny Bakes a Cake by Eve Rice features the best child and dog pair in Benny, the birthday boy, and the family dog, Ralph. In simple language and delightfully rounded and detailed characterizations against a white background, Benny and his mom bake and decorate a cake. And when the cake is finished, my favorite sentence in children’s literature appears: “Ralph licked his lips.” You can imagine what happens while Benny and his mom take a short walk. But Papa makes everything okay when he comes home with a surprise—a wonderful, giant cake.
On each page of the story, we see Ralph taking an interest in what is happening so the eventual crisis is foretold. But the happy ending includes Ralph howling “Happy Birthday” as Benny blows out four candles.
This would work well for a small group but is perfect for family sharing. A bonus to most Eve Rice books is that the characters in the book take some time to read alone or together. My boys—now men—loved to see these fictional families reading.
Check the WRL catalog for Benny Bakes a Cake.