Good Morning, Neighbor by Davide Cali, illustrated by Maria Dek (9781616896997)
One morning, Mouse wakes up and wants an omelet for breakfast. The trouble is, he doesn’t have an egg. So he asks the blackbird for an egg. Blackbird has flour, but no egg perhaps they could make a cake instead! The two set off to find an egg, and along the way, they gather more and more animals and ingredients. The dormouse has butter. Mole has sugar. Hedgehog has apples. Raccoon has cinnamon. Lizard has raisins. And finally, Bat has an egg! Owl lets them bake the cake in her oven. But when the divvying up of the cake comes into question, does Mouse get anything? After all, she didn’t really contribute something. Or did she?
This book is a clever riff on Stone Soup where everyone’s contributions come together to make something much more special. It uses repetition very nicely to give it a distinct folklore flavor. The final question of whether Mouse gets a slice of cake for initiating the idea and the entire process is an interesting one. The end will satisfy everyone except maybe hungry children who will want some apple cake themselves.
The illustrations add to the folklore appeal with their friendly animals and forest setting that is whimsically depicted. Each animal has their own personality and feel thanks to the illustrations and the way they appear on the page.
A great read-aloud choice that would pair well with autumn stories about apples and baking. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from library copy.