Posted in Cakes, Children's Books, Cookery, Review

‘Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River Story and Cookbook’ by Robbie Cheadle and Michael Cheadle

Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River Story and Cookbook

Sir Chocolate loves to go fishing in the Condensed Milk River, but when the river stops flowing, Sir Choc and Lady Sweet set off to investigate.

This is another of Robbie Cheadle’s delightful little books featuring the adventures of Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet. As usual, the paperback version of the book is illustrated with colour photos of Robbie’s wonderful fondant art creations. The rhyming story is lovely and the recipes (including Marshmallow Flowers and Crunchies) sound absolutely yummy.

A great way of getting kids to experiment with cooking.

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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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Posted in Adventure, Children's Books, Review

‘The Wolves of Willoughby Chase’ by Joan Aitken

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

In an England that never existed, in a time of Victorian values, the country is overrun with wolves. When young Sylvia embarks on a long train journey to stay with her cousin Bonnie, things begin to go wrong very quickly. With Bonnie’s parents leaving for sunnier climes, the girls discover their new governess, the sour-faced Miss Slighcarp, has plans that don’t include her distant relatives. Punishing the girls for apparent misdemeanours, she gets rid of all the faithful servants, retaining only those whose outlook is as harsh as her own.

Joan Aiken’s best-known book is written in a style that evokes the finest in children’s literature. The characters and descriptions are at times a little stereotypical (in the Dickensian tradition of highlighting all that is lacking in society), and the girls’ adventures occasionally skim over a little too quickly. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my first foray into Ms Aiken’s work and will definitely be reading the other books in the Wolves Chronicle series.

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