Tag Archives: kids craft

a hungry lion + lion cake craft

9781481448895(1)A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins (2016).



I don’t want to say too much about this book because it’s full of surprises. But I think it’s safe to say it’s mischievous, brave, and oh so much fun!






a-hungry-lion-spread-one(click image(s) to enlarge)

A Hungry Lion plays with our assumptions, with page turns, with wordless or nearly wordless spreads, and with a spunky narrator. And then it turns everything on its head. Possibly more than once.

hungry-lion-spread-twoThe beginning spreads set up a pattern. There’s an assortment of animals. And it’s dwindling. We can all imagine who the culprit is. Just look at his fangs! His angry orange mane!



Look how he hums, innocently, but how pig looks quite nervous nonetheless. But need she be? That is the question this book asks. One of them anyway.



Here’s a surprise I referred to! A cake and party surprise, one of the best kinds! Oh, but the story doesn’t end there. Not at all. There are more surprises in store, along with an answer to the question of who’s king of the animal kingdom after all. It might have less to do with fangs and an angry orange mane than was first assumed.


Big thanks to Simon & Schuster for images!




Those dwindling animals as cake toppers immediately came to mind for this picture book craft. There’s even a cake in the book itself! So, cake it had to be. As such, I enlisted the help of my dude, Todd Davis, to whip up a lion cake with a ribbony mane. Because he’s the guy to ask for stuff like that. Come see what we made!


a-hungry-lion-cake-craft-toppersThat’s a hungry lion cake. And that’s a dwindling assortment of animal cake toppers.



What you need:

A cake! If you make it like we did, you can go homemade or boxed in terms of cake and frosting. For eating, buttercream is best (and mentioned in the book). We used three cake layers for the base/mane, and one layer for the face.

Three 9 ” cake pans

One or two 6 ” cake pans

Cake ingredients

White frosting


A spatula or butter knife

Pastry bags

Decorating tips (104, one small round one, and a large round one—or whatever you choose)

Food coloring (red, yellow, and black)

Skewers or slender candles (we used these candles in white)

White paper

Colored pencils or markers


Plate or cake platter

lion-cake-craftWe made our animal cake toppers first. We eyeballed the animals in the book to draw them, colored them in, and cut them out imprecisely. We taped one or two to each slender cake candle, and done! This is a great thing to do while your cakes bake. And when you’re ready, mix your food coloring with frosting (it takes a lot of red to make that deeper orange) in three separate bowls (two oranges and one black for face details).


animal-cake-toppers-craftFrost between layers and stack them, then frost the entire surface area. Next, decorate, face first! Frost with orange and add features. Play! Our nose is made from part of that extra small cake we made and set on the face. But you can do it however you like. For the mane, Todd used a 104 petal decorating tip and went around and around with it making a  thick squiggly line.


lion cake








You won’t be hungry after eating this cake! And you will be satisfied after reading this book, making this craft, or both.


Huge thanks again to Todd Davis of Davis Handmade (my husband)!






rude cakes + rude cake craft!


Rude Cakesrude-cakes-cover-chronicle by Rowboat Watkins (out June 2, 2015!).



I’ve got a lot of love for this one. It’s a manners book infused with fun and delightfulness and cakes! (And cyclopses!!)

Come see!



Rude Cakes_Spread 1(click image(s) to enlarge)


One brilliant thing about this picture book (there are many!) is the use of the plural. “Rude cakes” goes the text while we see one particular pink rude cake doing all sorts of bad behaviors, from not saying please to never listening to its parents. It calls a cute marshmallow friend, “clumsy crumb” at one point illustrating just how rude a rude cake can be.


Rude Cakes_Spread 3

I love how the elder cakes have more tiers. How Rude Cake’s companions are a cupcake and a marshmallow. The muted color palette. The cyclops stuffed animal Rude Cake carries that comes into play in a BIG way in the story. And my favorite line?


“They also think baths are dumb and that bedtime is for donut holes.”

Rude Cakes_Spread 6

Oh but Rude Cake has it coming. A real, live cyclops plucks Rude Cake from its bedroom in order to wear it as a jaunty little hat. (Cyclopses love jaunty little hats.)


Rude Cakes_Spread 10

And thus, Rude Cake is on the other end of misfortune. Not because cyclopses are rude. Oh no, they are very polite.

Rude Cakes_Spread 13

But are they polite enough to listen to a jaunty little hat who finally asks nicely to be returned home, using that magic word, “please”? You’ll have to read the book to find out.


Thanks to Chronicle Books for images!



This book calls for a craft, no? You could bake a cake! Or you could make a cute rude cake craft, one that can be worn as a jaunty little hat or kept around on a bookshelf!


Looks like frosting, but it’s actually something that will last a lot longer (and is NOT edible). Spackle!

Here’s how my dude and I made Rude Cake: We used two differently sized plastic plant tray liners taped together to form the cake shape. Then we mixed up some lightweight spackling paste and red food coloring to make a pink frosting-like material. We spread it on with a knife, super simple! After adding more red for a darker pink, we applied that with a pastry bag and decorating tip to the top and rim! Some paper circles for eyes and two more lines of “frosting” for Rude Cake’s mouth and voila!





Isn’t Rude Cake (hat) cute?! Especially since it’s no longer so rude. Just ask cupcake and marshmallow.


superfestivhatAnd, hey! You might be interested in my Hooray For Hat craft as well.