Clever Jack Takes the CakeWritten by Candace Fleming
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Schwartz & Wade, 2010
Grades 1-3, Reading Level AD600L 
40 pp, 1384 words

One summer morning long ago, a poor boy named Jack found an invitation slipped beneath his cottage door. It read:

His Majesty the King 

cordially invites 

all the children of the Realm


the Princess's Tenth Birthday 


tomorrow afternoon

in the Castle Courtyard.


Lowly Jack is invited to the princess's birthday, but he has no present to bring. Selling his few possessions, resourceful Jack gathers the ingredients he needs to make the perfect birthday cake. On his way to the castle, poor Jack and his cake are menaced by an assortment of characters, from four-and-twenty blackbirds to a greedy troll. Disappointed Jack must eventually face the princess empty-handed. It will take all his cleverness to keep the party from being a total loss.