There’s a Dodo on the Wedding Cake

There’s a Dodo on the Wedding Cake
Wade Bradford and Kevin Hawkes
Walker Books

Hired to play his violin at a wedding, Mr Snore who starred in There’s a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor makes a return visit to the Sharemore Hotel.

His early arrival allows him to take advantage of the wedding planner’s offer of some hot chocolate while he waits. Before he is given said hot drink sans marshmallows as he’s stipulated, the violinist spots a dessert trolley whereon stands a rose-decorated, iced cake close to which is a dodo with its eye on the main chance. But Mr Snore is not quick enough to prevent the creature from sampling a rose; it gobbles one and dashes off.

Having seen the dramatic incident, the wedding planner hastens away to find somebody to fix the icing, leaving Mr Snore standing guard using his violin bow to ward off a couple of beavers and a boa constrictor.

Then, deciding to move to safety – so he thinks, Mr S. pushes the cake into what he assumes is an empty cupboard only to discover it’s anything but …

However, it seems that there’s a never ending array of creatures all trying to get close to the confection.

Eventually the wedding planner has to intervene and it’s revealed that Mr Snore has misjudged all those whom he suspected of being marauders, all but one, that is.

With everything finally ready, the celebration gets under way and all is going beautifully until the bride and groom hand Mr Snore the very first slice of cake, but on account of the icing, there are explosive results …

Full of drama, this crazy romp with its messy finale has plenty to entertain young audiences – Mr Snore’s bow-wielding heroism, his continuing error-making and the denouement, to name just some of the daft constituents. All of which Kevin Hawkes captures brilliantly in his sequence of full page scenes, the occasional double page spread and zoomed -in views of bits of the action, presented in circles or ovals of various sizes. Weirdest of all though, is his portrayal of the protagonist.

Little Bear’s Big House / There’s a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor

Little Bear’s Big House
Benjamin Chaud
Chronicle Books

Tired of his uneventful life in the forest Little Bear leaves his Mama, Papa and Teeny Tiny bear to embark on a big adventure, “far from the forest” so he says.

His exploratory intent means that he turns down invitations from his forest dwelling friends, to keep moving
till eventually, as night falls he comes upon a huge, amazing-looking house in a clearing.
The door is ready to be opened so Little Bear, acting like a little boy, decides to enter.

Once inside the real adventure begins …

“Being on my own is so much fun!’’ comes the cry until there is an enormous BANG! Little Bear dives beneath the bedcovers and his imagination runs riot.

What ensues is something of a surprise but suffice it to say that when Little Bear finally reaches home after an adventure that proves a little too much for the young ursine character, he learns that he isn’t the only one with an exciting story to tell about a big house.

Hilarious scenes of Little Bear and his antics as he seeks a modicum of independence, offer plenty for little humans to pore over.

There’s a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor
Wade Bradford and Kevin Hawkes
Walker Books

Mr Snore, an extremely tired musician checks into the very grand-looking Sharemore Hotel hoping for a good night’s sleep. No sooner has his head hit the pillow however than he discovers that his bed is already occupied. He demands a new room and there are plenty of options starting on the second floor but he has no intention of sharing his slumber time with a pig so he calls the front desk again.

And so it goes on until despite the knowing porter’s unfinished warning, Mr Snore ends up at floor number thirteen. The bed is definitely gigantic and might at last prove satisfactory.

Now however, it isn’t Mr Snore who makes a call downstairs to the front desk …

With its crazy finale, nicely contrasting main characters and Kevin Hawkes’ zany illustrations, this romp of Wade Bradford’s truly is a bedtime tale with a difference.