Posted in Cakes, Children's Books, Cookery, Humour, Illustrations, Recipe

‘Freddie’s Amazing Bakery: The Great Raspberry Mix-Up’ by Harriet Whitehorn and Alex G Griffiths


Freddie’s Amazing Bakery: The Great Raspberry Mix-Up’

Cake-lover and amazing baker Freddie Bonbon is the nicest boy in town. Along with his best friend Amira, he sells cakes, croissants and tarts at his popular bakery. When hotel owner Mrs van de Lune announces a baking competition, Freddie is determined to win – especially as he could use the prize money to buy a new oven. But Freddie isn’t the only one entering the competition – bad-tempered baker Bernard Macaroon plots to discover Freddie’s recipe and has a few tricks up his sleeve to stop the canny cake-maker from winning the competition.

Along with dozens of age-appropriate illustrations by Alex G Griffiths, Harriet Whitehorn creates a charming tale of baking rivalry, friendship and community spirit. Having said that, the story is scarcely original, with an ending that’s painfully obvious. Though entertainingly told, even the glossary of baking terms and the raspberry cupcake recipe at the back, add little to shout about.

A nice little book that should have been more interesting than it is.


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Posted in Adventure, Children's Books, Humour, War

‘Carrie’s War’ by Nina Bawden


Carrie’s War

 

Visiting the wartime village where she and her younger brother were billeted following the evacuation from London, a grown-up Carrie Willow tells her own children of her adventures. But her memories of the Welsh hills, the surly Mr Evans and his timid sister are marred by something she did following one of her many visits to Druid’s Bottom, where the sickly Mrs Gotobed lived with her housekeeper Hepzibah, the odd Mr Johnny and another evacuee, Albert.

I had vague memories of having read this years ago but must have imagined it, as the book was entirely new to me. I read it in one sitting and loved the atmosphere, the strange mix of characters and the slightly sinister plot line that bubbles away on the backburner throughout the book. Nina Bawden’s characters, particularly the mysterious Hepzibah and the bullying Mr Evans, are beautifully drawn, entirely realistic and, ultimately, thoroughly endearing. The ending had me on the edge of my seat and left me in tears, (which doesn’t happen often).

An absolute delight from start to finish.


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Posted in Children's Books, Humour, Illustrations, Review

‘Does It Fart?’ by Nick Caruso and Dani Rabaiotti


Does it Fart?

 

Posing questions that all children wonder about, Does it Fart? provides the answers in a witty and educational way. From spiders and whales to cheetahs and chimpanzees, we find out who does what, why and when, and for those creatures who don’t fart, we discover what they do instead.

With a title that’ll definitely grab kids’ attention, this is an interesting and amusing book that mixes education with humour. The illustrations (by Alex Griffiths) are lovely, and I really liked the idea of posing a question (Does a parrot fart?) and then turning the page to find out the answer. The text, however, while very informative, doesn’t quite fit with the style of the illustrations, and suggests the authors (Nick Caruso and Dani Rabaiotti) aren’t totally sure about the age range they’re aiming at. As a book for parents to read to younger children, I’m sure it’ll work well, but only older kids will understand the text if reading themselves.



 
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