Best Friends’ Bakery: Birthdays and Biscuits by Linda Chapman and Kate Hindley
|Best Friends’ Bakery: Birthdays and Biscuits by Linda Chapman and Kate Hindley|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Sweet but not sickly, a good story for girls around 7 to 10 years old.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 144||Date: April 2015|
|Publisher: Orion Children’s Books|
|External links: Author's website|
In this, the fourth story in the Best Friends’ Bakery series, Hannah is recovering from her sadness at being thrown off the Junior Baker show on TV. Fortunately there’s plenty going on in her town and at her mum’s bakery to keep her busy. There’s a new beauty shop opening to bake for, a doggy rescue centre in trouble, and a new girl who seems intent on stopping anyone from befriending her. How will Hannah get on with these new challenges in her life?
I like Hannah. She’s a nice, cheerful, upbeat character who isn’t always perfect but who tries her best in most situations. She’s always one to look for the silver lining, which I think is a valuable skill for children to try to develop. In this story we see her baking like crazy, of course, so whether she’s helping her mum ice hundreds of biscuits for a special new shop opening, or baking tasty dog treats for the local dog show, she puts her heart and soul into it! Actually, one of my only quibbles with the book arose from the icing of the biscuits. I struggled to believe that Hannah’s mum would let her and her friend ice the special biscuits for the shop opening, especially when the icing was multi-coloured and complicated. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to ice biscuits with children before? I have. It doesn’t end in professional-looking biscuits, I can tell you! Hannah’s mum then says that she may later ice on the name of the shop, which is where I stopped believing in their baking prowess, because the shop had a pretty long name and I think even they couldn’t manage to fit it onto a biscuit, unless is was a very large biscuit…
Anyway, reality queries aside, the story is rather charming. Hannah finds out that the local dog rescue centre is struggling for funds and is going to hold a fair to raise money, but they need help organising. Hannah and her friend come up with lots of very good ideas, and then throw themselves into doing anything and everything towards making the fair a success. I really liked this aspect of the story. They have fun ideas, the adults take them seriously, and they work very hard towards their goal. At the same time as all this planning is going on they meet a new girl who will be starting in their school after the summer. Hannah tries to befriend her, remembering how hard it was when she was the new girl in town, but Abi seems to resist all attempts to help her. Will Hannah and her friends ever find out what Abi’s problem is?
Once again, there are a few recipes in the book, including one for doggy biscuits! The illustrations through the story add to the fun, lighthearted feel of the story, and also break up the text a little more for emerging readers who perhaps aren’t used to chapter books yet. It’s easy to read, and I read a little later than I’d planned because I wanted to see how things turned out at the dog show, so the writing is obviously compelling! I really like the characters in the story, the work ethic portrayed, but also the kindness Hannah shows to the new girl in helping her work things out. Having been a new girl at school on several occasions, Hannah is just the sort of friend I would have wanted to meet.
This is a nice series to point girls towards once they’ve tired of their Rainbow Fairies binge and are looking for something a little more substantial to try. I like the easy style of the stories, and that they aren’t just fluff and nonsense but usually have something more important to say, along side of the tempting recipes!
Make sure you check out the previous stories in this series. Here’s our review of the third book.
You can read more book reviews or buy Best Friends’ Bakery: Birthdays and Biscuits by Linda Chapman and Kate Hindley at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Best Friends’ Bakery: Birthdays and Biscuits by Linda Chapman and Kate Hindley at Amazon.com.