Best Friends' Bakery: Cupcakes and Contests by Linda Chapman and Kate Hindley

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Best Friends' Bakery: Cupcakes and Contests by Linda Chapman and Kate Hindley

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Bountiful baking delights in this sweet, engaging story.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 144 Date: February 2015
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1444011920

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Hannah's favourite TV show is Junior Brilliant Baker, and when she hears that they are auditioning for new contestants for the show she simply can't wait to apply. She rushes to tell her best friend, Mia, about the competition as she's also a fan, but then what will happen if only one of them gets on the show? And what would they bake for the auditions? And would the show live up to everything they've imagined?

I wasn't sure about this story initially. I thought it was going to be one of those sickeningly sweet, girly stories full of cute recipes alongside a happy-ever-after storyline. Of course, having decided that just by looking at the cover I immediately found myself hooked on the story, and eager to see what Hannah might try baking next! There's something very charming about the characters, and I really liked the flow of the story, and the direction it took. The author isn't afraid to deal with tricky situations, whether that's friendship issues, or the challenges of being a perfectionist, or how to deal with failure.

This is a chapter story, and the chapters have plenty of content to them, so strong emerging readers could have a good go with it, and confident readers will find it very accessible. I loved the illustrations that are sprinkled liberally throughout the book. They have a light touch to them, and their frequent appearance, even if it's just a small picture of a cupcake or a pretzel, helps to break up the text and ease the reading along. I like the depictions of the characters too, and they have sweet expressive faces that also continue to draw you into the story.

Once I'd started the book I found I raced through it. There's a real sense of needing to know what's going to happen in the story! For your own budding bakers, there's one full recipe for chocolate and olive oil cupcakes and a chocolate ganache frosting. There are also lots of baking tips and tricks, as well as suggestions you could incorporate into your own baking, for different flavourings and decorations. I personally had a hankering to try making some bread after finishing the book!

Although, no doubt, there are plenty of baking boys who would probably enjoy this story it is undoubtedly girly in presentation, so it would be a brave 8 year old boy who picked this off the shelf. For girls aged around 8 to 11 it's a lovely story, and I liked the values and ideas underlying the story. Good for experienced mini chefs as well as those just starting out.

Boys might want to get in on the cake fun with The Curse of the Catastrophic Cupcakes (Boy Zero Wannabe Hero) by Peter Millett or girls might also enjoy trying something like In Your Dreams (Ruby Rogers) by Sue Limb.

Buy Best Friends' Bakery: Cupcakes and Contests by Linda Chapman and Kate Hindley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Best Friends' Bakery: Cupcakes and Contests by Linda Chapman and Kate Hindley at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Best Friends' Bakery: Cupcakes and Contests by Linda Chapman and Kate Hindley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Best Friends' Bakery: Cupcakes and Contests by Linda Chapman and Kate Hindley at Amazon.com.


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