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Zuzu's Wishing Cake (Rise and Shine)

Press:Houghton Mifflin HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (September 25, 2006)
Publication Date:2006-9
Author Name:Michelin, Linda/ Johnson, D. B. (ILT)


What Zuzu wants, Zuzu makes. 
In her happy hands a brown paper bag becomes a flower or a hat.
Cardboard becomes a tent, a telescope, or a car.
Zuzu makes everything into something else.
But making a friend of the boy next door turns out to be harder than she thought.
Can she get him to smile?With the pictures by award-winning illustrator D.
Johnson, Linda Michelin tells this exuberant story of a red-haired girl and her irrepressible imagination.

From Booklist

Zuzu loves making things with paper bags, boots, bottle caps, and big boxes, and her simple crafts are a delightful part of this friendship story. 
When a new boy moves next door, she tries to make friends, but he just sits inside and never smiles.
Undaunted, she makes him a telescope (from a cardboard roll, paint, and plastic wrap); sunglasses (from camera film); and, finally, a wishing cake (from layers of bread and jam, with a dandelion candle).
Eventually he joins her, and on the very last page, he is pictured racing around by himself in a cardboard boxcar he has made.
Zuzu does not understand the language his mother speaks, and the cross-cultural connection is a quiet addition to the warm story.
Johnson, who wrote and illustrated Henry Hikes to Fitchburg (2000), uses bright, bouncy collage-type pictures to show the fun of making exciting gifts and making a friend.
Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association.
All rights reserved

About the Author

Johnson has been a freelance illustrator for more than twenty years and has done editorial cartoons, comic strips, and conceptual illustrations for magazines and newspapers around the country.
Johnson’s first picture book, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, was a New York Times bestseller and a Publishers Weekly bestseller, as well as an American Bookseller “Pick of the Lists.” Henry Hikes to Fitchburg also won numerous awards, including the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Picture Books and the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award.
Johnson and his wife, Linda, live in New Hampshire.
Visit his website at www.henryhikes.com!


Children's Books,Growing Up & Facts of Life,Family Life,Moving,Reference,English as a Second Language,Friendship, Social Skills & School Life,Friendship

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Comment List (Total:8)

  •     Firstly, my mom is now a grandmother and her new grandma-name is Zuzu.That said, I bought this for her and my nephew and it was a big hit. The illustrations are cute, it is a fast read but clever. I am pleased I found it.

  •     This is a really nice book. The little girl tries to reach out to the new boy across the street, who does not speak her language (the book never discusses which language either child speaks, so it is open to interpretation, which I like). Zuzu comes up with several home made gifts (I love the "DIY instructions" that children can actually follow -- or at least could 10 years ago! One of the items uses negatives from photographs, something children of this generation will probably never lay eyes on). Finally, she communicates with him through simple kindness, even though they have no words in common. I use it to explain to my daughter (who is 4) how important and meaningful simple kindness is even if you don't understand one another. She sat on the edge of her seat, fascinated with the entire book. Usually I have to help her refocus while we read, but to my surprise, this one held her attention completely. I'm really glad we found it and will probably send it to school with her one day so the teacher can read it to the class.

  •     My kids, age two, love love love this book. They are always referring to little parts in the book while we are out and about. It really left an impact on them. It gives a good message about creativity and being kind to another, with a little diversity thrown in too, but not didactic in any way. Love it!

  •     Zuzu and the Wishing Cake is a delightful how-to book - how to make a friend even when the new boy next door is shy and does not speak English well. And how to make toys to welcome her new neighbor without a trip to the local toy store. Zuzu has a simple message that will delight young readers and makes it worthy as a read aloud-talk about book in the classroom or as a goodnight book. Michelin's story coupled with Johnson's illustrations is excellent.

  •     I started by asking the children if they had ever just wanted to do something nice for someone. Children K-2 can easily relate and many responded. The text is sparce and allows for much conversation between reader and audience. The pictures tell of making home-made toys and entertaining oneself - all in an attempt to meet a new neighbor.It is the perfect book for discussing characters, setting, problem and solution. It is best read to a small group of 8 at most because there are from 1-6 pictures on each page and everyone wants to see them all!

  •     Zuzu, whose heart is on her sleeve, is an endearing oddball in a picture book population whose females can often be bratty and superficial. It's a joy to read aloud. Bonus: it's a hit with kids. The friends whose kids I've given it to (including 2 boys) tell me they are asked to read it repeatedly. In addition to featuring a bold and creative protagonist, the book includes Zuzu's inspired creations and explanations for how to make them at home: a telescope, a fort, a wishing cake. If you don't yet believe in the power of wishing, read this book.

  •     We first got Zuzu's Wishing Cake from some friends and enjoyed it so much, we bought another to give. The main character is a young girl who uses her creativity to produce toys and fun, and she shows compassion for the lonely boy next door. Lots to get out of the book, as well as interesting illustrations.

  •     We happened to find this book at the library. I was pleasantly surprised by the lessons taught in this book.A new boy moves in next door to Zuzu. She notices that he doesn't smile or come outside to play. Zuzu tries to make several things for the boy before finally giving him a cake. Upon receiving the special cake, the boy smiles back.This book teaches ways that a child can reach out to other children - even children from a different nationality. I especially like how Zuru didn't give up and tried several times.Zuzu has a creative mind. The book shows several items that she made out of paper and cardboard. There are even step by step direction on how to make a few of them.Friendship and imagination flow throughout this simple book. One that can be read over and over.


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