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Cookery Books - Part II

Week Two and I am back to tell you about the fictional stories based around cooking in one form or another! I hope that you were inspired by Week One and took on the challenge of trying out some cooking in your kitchen – perhaps you even surprised the family with some great meals?

Now. It is perhaps time to put those feet up? To sit back and be proud of your efforts? To find a story or two to share - and yes, there is something coming up for everyone in this offering.

Nick Sharratt is going to start us off with an accessible and very charming story. Tea Party Parade is part of the Barrington Stoke Little Gems series and as such is perfect for emerging readers who would like to have some reading independence. Brightly and cleverly illustrated with lots of fun, lively images of a playground filled with giant jam tarts, colossal cakes and simply the biggest jelly I have ever seen! Open up the book to first play a spot the difference game and then get stuck into the story (make sure to have washed your hands first!). Fun, food and giggle await.

I don’t know about you, but before I get to school in the morning, I do need a nice bowl of something. Gloria’s Porridge could be just what we have all been waiting for. Elizabeth Laird and Toby Newsome (published by Tiny Owl) bring us this fun story from Africa where, if we open it up and start to read (perhaps over breakfast), we will discover that Gloria has made a wonderful bowl of porridge - so wonderful that it has tempted the cat to try and taste it. Gloria is very cross when she sees the cat has eaten it all, and the sequence of events that follow will have you laughing out loud - so be certain not to have your mouth full when reading!

Gloria and the cat caused havoc with the porridge, but what will happen in Ewa Jozefowicz’s The Cooking Club Detectives (published by Head of Zeus)? Well, there is a new home, a new school, new friends and, most excitingly of all, a new puppy for Erin. That is, the puppy is the most exciting thing until Erin discovers that she has become a cooking detective! Along with Sam, Frixos, Tanya and Sausage, the Cooking Club Detectives have a mystery to solve. Their favourite place, the community centre, is being threatened with closure but no one knows why. Our intrepid cooking club are on the case – are you with them?

I hope you are enjoying these offerings so far and are not in too much danger of getting lost in a book and not finding your way back to the kitchen… especially because there is Peril At the Bake Off! Ruth Quayle and Marta Kissi (Andersen Press) have another Muddlemoor Mystery book for us. The summer holidays have arrived at long last for Joe Robinson and his cousins who are staying with Granny in Muddlemoor village. However, this is a hotspot for crime and when Granny’s very precious cake recipe goes missing with just days to go before the Great Village Bake off, Joe, Toma and Pip are not only flabbergasted but on the case. They know one of the neighbours must be the culprit and they are determined to find out WHO it was…

The question is: if the missing recipe is found and the culprit bought to justice, will they apologise? Kate Milner’s Sorry Mrs Cake may help them learn how to (published by Tiny Owl). Open up this charming picture book to see the delicious spread that Mrs Cake has laid out for all her friends. One little boy and his cat want to help bring all the friends to the table, but first the dads, then the mums, the big kids, and finally the grandmas and grandads are all too distracted to listen. A plan forms: the little children are bought in for the party and soon everyone else follows with a ‘thank you’ and a ‘sorry’ and a realisation that it is important to always listen - and not only to the nosiest.

Listening and hearing everything is a skill - one that, if you are clever, will be easy enough to learn. Maybe you are a clever cookie and will already know about listening - but are you a smart cookie too? Jory John and Pete Oswald have found The Smart Cookie (published by HarperCollins) and have created a story about him for us to share with you. This is the fifth picture book in the duo’s Food Group series and it is brilliant! There is one cookie who has never felt smart next to all the clever cupcakes and brilliant rolls… but that is about to change with a sprinkling of confidence! We soon discover there is more than one method and ingredient for intelligence…

Louise Ellis-Barrett


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