The Books

The Donut Chef

by Bob Staake

One Potato Review

Like Staake’s The Red Lemon, this book already has the look of a classic, even though it was only published two years ago – and remains mysteriously under-stocked in major bookstores. Something is definitely broken if two books like these are not ubiquitously featured, because they do everything right for so many age groups, in so many ways. The rhyming here is never awkward, always joyous and incidental, but it’s the visual elaborations - of elbowing storefronts and highfalutin donuts – which are as potentially riveting (to one-year-olds, to any-year-olds) as this illustrator’s cover designs for The New Yorker. Here is basically the timeless story of inspiration (and commercialism) run amok:

“We’ve donuts laced with kiwi jam,
And served inside an open clam!
And donuts made from spiced rum pears,
So popular with millionaires!”

Seussian, right? Eventually it’s the very chef who started this runaway nonsense who is forced to go tracing his steps. It just takes one voice. This may seem old fashioned, but it counts for massive forward progress in the end. Important, irreverent, and earns its exclamations.

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