“ Author: Eric Hill / Format: Board book / Date of publication: 01 January 2009 / Genre: Picture Books / Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd / Title: Spot Bakes a Cake / ISBN 13: 9780723263586 / ISBN 10: 0723263586 / Alternative EAN: 9780140555134 „
* Prices may differ from that shown
My daughter was given a Spot lift the flap book when she was about 5 months old and grew to love it, so when she was about a year, I bought her this Spot Bakes a Cake book which was another 'lift the flap' version by Eric Hill. I bought this on amazon costing me around £4 at the time. When I introduced it to my daughter when she was around the year mark, it was too much for her, and she didn't really follow the story. About 18 months, this was a much more popular choice, and now that she is over two, we are almost past this book!
Spot Bakes A Cake obviously follows the lovable dog 'Spot' who in this book is making a cake for daddy dogs birthday with the help (and despair!) of his money. The book follows the order of what you do when you need to make a birthday cake, starting at beginning, when you need to make a list and go shopping to get the ingredients. Mummy makes the list, Spot looks in the cupboard, where his little mouse friend is also keen to help shop and bake. At the supermarket, when trying to find a single bar of chocolate, Spot manages to find a lot of chocolate. Back home again, and Spot begins to help Mummy dog make the cake, with the help of mouse, cracking the eggs, mixing it all together and then licking the spoon. This is my daughter's favourite part as when we make buns together, that is her favourite part, so this always makes her laugh and smile. SPot then gets to decorate the cake, rather messily, before writing a card for his Dad. When it comes to Dads birthday, Spot takes almost all the credit for the making the cake, with his mummy only helping a 'little'!!
There are several things I like about this book. Firstly, it is a hardback copy so it keeps it in better condition. Secondly, it is a great size. My daughter likes to take this book with her when out and about because it fits in her little bag and also it fits nicely beside her in her buggy so when we go out a walk, she can look through the book and lift the flaps. Any child who has baked with a family member before, will identify with this story, which is why it really is better aimed at older toddlers, at least 18 months. As I said, I think it is getting a little too easy for my daughter, compared to her other books and stories, but whilst she enjoys it, I am happy to read it to her as it is a light hearted, enjoyable story from a cuddly character.
Most households with young children will be familiar with Eric Hill's character, Spot the Dog. We own a few books featuring the cute young canine with 'Spot Bakes a Cake' still being a firm favourite with my three year old son.
This story features Spot baking a cake, with a little help from his Mum. (The clue is there in the title!) This is not just any old cake though; this is a birthday cake for Spot's Dad. Baking cakes and celebrating birthdays are two of my children's favourite activities so it's not hard to understand why this simple story has been revisited so many times. The structure and content are very easy to understand as we follow all of the steps involved in making the birthday cake, right from opening the cupboards to discover that they are empty. The pages go on to reveal Spot shopping for the crucial ingredients - chocolate and lots of it- then setting about making and icing the cake and finally presenting it, with pride, to his Dad. The pictures accompanying the story are bright and clear, with each object and activity being instantly recognisable to young children.
Each double page spread features a single reinforced flap to open, usually revealing Spot or his little friend, a tiny little mouse, either getting up to mischief or making a lot of mess. All of the flaps are firmly attached and have proved to be surprisingly robust as none of them are showing any signs of any damage on our copy, despite numerous repeated readings. There is usually also a short phrase under each flap too. The language used under each flap and throughout the main story is really simple and totally replicates a typical conversation between a mother and her child under these circumstances. The Mummy dog's comments are phrases that are certainly familiar to me - 'Help me clean up, Spot!' 'Go easy on the icing, Spot!' I think this is part of the charm of the story and one of the reasons why my boys have always enjoyed reading it as they can easily relate to it.
This is a relatively short story, with just 22 pages featuring very short, simple sentences. This makes it ideal for under-twos with short attention spans but is also handy as a quick bedtime read for slightly older children, especially when short on time. Older children would probably appreciate slighly more complex stories or books that are a little more interactive but this is still a pleasant relaxing easy read.
Another advantage of the simple language and small number of pages is that it can be used as a very early reader for young children once they are starting to recognise words and read simple stories. My oldest son used to enjoy reading this to his baby brother when he was about five years old. He would sometimes get a little bored and frustrated trying to read aloud the formal reading books he brought home from school but this proved to be a fun and, crucially, a very easy book to read, especially as he was already familiar with the words and could use the clear illustrations to jog his memory. This helped to build his confidence and encouraged to tackle other stories.
I would recommend this book both as a simple bedtime story for pre-school children and then as an easy first reading book for slightly older children. It is a story that can be enjoyed time and time again.
Spot Bakes A Cake.....by Eric Hill
We had been given some Spot the dog books by a colleague of mine at work and Jack absolutely loved them, They had lift the flaps and Jack would laugh each time one was lifted up. O I decided for Christmas to buy him his own brand new Spot the dog book. I bought it from Waterstones and I think there was a 3 for 2 offer on but the book was charged at the RRP of £4.99p. I am sure you could get it cheaper by looking on line though.
The book is aboard book meaning that it is perfect for small hands as the pages are thick and easy to turn. It also means that it is very hard wearing and even the ones that have been passed down to us are still in really good condition.
Spot Bakes a Cake has 20 pages each with bright colourful pictures on. The writing in the book is limited and says just the basics really as the pictures seem to do the real talking. Each of the double pages has one lift the flap section with a surprise underneath. The main plot of this book is that it is Spot's daddy's birthday and spot and his mum decide to bake a cake for him.
The cupboards are bare so they take a trip to the shops to buy the ingredients for a lovely chocolate cake. As soon as they get home Spot gets stuck in right away with helping to bake the cake. A little friend from the cupboard helps Spot out too!
Spot generally makes a mess but has lots of fun getting the cake ready. At the end of the book Spot's dad gets his wonderfully colourful chocolate cake and lots of presents, so is very happy.
The book is a very basic story but the pictures are brilliant and Jack does love to lift up the flaps. Because it is a board book it still looks brand new and Jack gets it out to look at all the time. I think fr the price it is a timeless book and will certainly last if I have any more children. I would say however that now Jack is getting a bit older he like the more in depth books and the age range of this book is probably around 9 to 20 months. In that time however I certainly think we have got our monies worth from it.
I will rate this book as a 4 star item and give it a high recommendation. I hope this has been of some help to you. Thanks for taking the time to read.