On a day when we’ve experienced torrential downpours, thunder, lightning and hail, I really fancied a nice cake with a cup of tea, so I couldn’t pick a better book to review than Lucia Gaggiotti’s and Simon Philip’s I Really Want the Cake, published by Templar/Bonnier.
Perhaps nothing gets your mouth salivating as much as a large slice of delicious cake (or even an entire cake, if you’re up to it). The little girl in I Really Want the Cake IS up to it although she tries her hardest to resist temptation, often with wildly scary expressions of desire. Her dog’s on board too – some things are just too good to miss. And when Mum leaves a note expressly saying NOT to eat the cake … well, you know what happens when someone says not to do something, don’t you?
Written in rhyming triplets, with a repeated refrain that changes slightly each time to reflect the progress of the book, this is a delight to read out loud. Children immediately are drawn into rhymes and I don’t doubt that they will fall into this book as greedily as the girl who wants the cake. The added attraction factor of having VERY LARGE EXCLAMATIONS written in CAPITAL LETTERS is also popular with young children – they’ve cottoned on very easily to the typographical meaning that they’re meant to be shouted. And so I am deafened…
I Really Want the Cake also deals with the horror of reality when you’ve done what you’re not supposed to – and the desperate measures you will go to, to make amends. The girl thinks that baking a cake can’t be too hard (she hasn’t seen me in the kitchen, covered in flour and sugar and emanating panic) but then she discovers my reality and ends up in a total mess. Will she win her mother over? I wish I knew!
As an added bonus, there’s a lovely chocolate cake recipe in the back of the book for children to try, with a helpful warning that, while picture book dogs can eat chocolate cake, it’s not for real canines. I might have to give this a go, when I buy some more baking paper.
Please note that Bonnier sent me a review copy of this book.