Cook-A-Doodle-Doo! by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel looks absolutely delicious! With gorgeous colors and detailed drawing, the story is an adaptation of the classic Little Red Hen—where the hen ground wheat and goes to a whole lot of trouble to bake a fresh loaf of bread, but her friends won’t help her until it’s time to eat. In this case, the story is modified several ways, though not necessarily for the better. First, the protagonist is Rooster, rather than a hen. While certain friends refuse to help, an interesting menagerie comprised of Pig, Turtle, and Iguana agree to help Rooster bake . . . strawberry shortcake.
Well, I love baking but the story just seemed to drag on and on. There are also these little helpful “hints” on baking written in the margins which makes me think that these ladies really wanted to write a cookbook but weren’t able to do so. I found the “hints” distracting and did not read them aloud. Anyway, the animals go through all the challenges of baking for the first time but eventually wind up with a lovely finished product that falls on the floor and is eaten by Pig (who wasn’t allowed to help during the baking process). However, now experienced, the three friends bake another cake and share it with all their friends.
Maybe it’s pregnancy-moodiness, but I didn’t very much enjoy the story, although it has many positives such as clear pictures and repetition that make it a good choice for early (I’d say 2-3 grade) readers. However, the cake did look yummy so I just might have to try it:
Great-Granny’s Magnificent Strawberry Shortcake
2 c all purpose flour, sifted
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ c butter
1 egg, beaten
2/3 c milk
3-4 c strawberries, sliced
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit. Sift flour and dry ingredients together. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg and milk, stirring just enough to moisten. Bake in a greased 8 x. 1.5" round pan 15-18 minutes. Cook on rack. Split into two layers. Alternate layers of cake, whipped cream, and strawberries, ending with strawberries on top.