Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells

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Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells

Summary of the Story

Max makes an earthworm cake for Grandma's birthday and wants to help his sister Ruby make her angel surprise cake for Grandma. However, Max's "help" results in many spilled ingredients. Ruby sends Max to the store for replacements. At the store, the grocer can't read all the items on the shopping list until Max solves the problem by drawing pictures.

Introducing the Story
  • Read the title of the book on the cover, pointing to each word as you say it. Have children repeat the title as you point to each word.
  • Ask children to look at the pictures and think about what the story will be about. Ask: What do you think the bunnies are going to make? (They are going to make cakes.)

Reading the Story for the First Time

  • Read the story, moving your finger under the words as you read.
  • After reading, say: The bunnies in this book make cakes. When do we like to eat cake? (We like to eat cake on birthdays and other special occasions.)

Recalling the Story

  • After you have finished reading, ask children the recall questions below. Continue to ask these questions when you reread the book, until he or she knows the answers.

Reading the Story Again and Again

  • Give open-ended prompts on each page. For example, ask: What's happening on this page? Do less reading of the words to the story each time you read, leaving more and more of the "reading" or retelling to the child.
  • Give prompts about objects or activities in the pictures. For example, ask: What is Max using to make his earthworm cake? (He is using a pancake turner.) Use your finger to point to what you are asking about. Evaluate the children's response. Expand it by adding more information. Ask the child to repeat the answer. If he or she needs help in answering a question, ask that question again the next time you read the book.
  • You may wish to discuss the prompts shown below.

Extra Activities

  • Have children read Bunny Cakes to each other.
  • Children can dramatize the story using play food. Assign parts for Max, Ruby, and the grocer. They can act out the story while you read it aloud.

Recall Questions
Ask the following questions to check the child's understanding of the story.

  1. What is the title of this book? (Bunny Cakes)
  2. What kind of cake does Max make? (He makes an earthworm cake.)
  3. What kind of cake does Ruby want to make? (She wants to make an angel surprise cake with raspberry-fluff icing.)
  4. What happens when Max tries to help Ruby? (Max breaks the eggs and spills the milk and the flour.)
  5. Where does Ruby send Max to get the eggs, milk, and flour? (She sends him to the grocery store.)
  6. How does the grocer know what Ruby needs? (He reads what Ruby has written on the list.)
  7. Why doesn't Max get what he wants at the grocery store? (He wants Red-Hot Marshmallow Squirters for his cake, but the grocer can't read his scribbles and so doesn't give him what he wants.)
  8. How does Max finally get the Red-Hot Marshmallow Squirters for his cake? (He draws a picture of them, and the grocer then knows exactly what he wants.)

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Excerpted from Read Together, Talk Together, the Pearson Early Childhood research-based program that makes reading aloud even more effective!

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