Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Donut Chef

     Donuts are fantastic, but books about donuts have the advantage of containing no calories (at least not when you just read them).  The best I've ever come across is The Donut Chef by Bob Staake.  Staake has growing oeuvre of standout picture books, but this one (along with The Red Lemon) is his best.  On the surface, it's the tale of a jolly donut chef who wants to delight the world with his confections, but winds up in a duel of crazy donut flavors with a shifty competitor, until he learns that simplicity makes for the greatest delights.  The deeper theme of competing with a hyper-stimulated world is a potent one, too, and one that's near to my own heart.
     In any case, it's Staake's art that makes this book sing.  His geometric figures, deco swooshes and bright, evocative colors crackle with an energy like nothing else out there.  He feels like a very worthy torchbearer for the one and only Dr. Seuss.

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