Saturday, 25 October 2014
Review: The Great Kitten Cake Off by Anna Wilson
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: August 28th, 2014
Ellie Haines despairs of her family. Her younger brother is so desperate to be on TV he's tried everything from sending films of his hamster to SpringwatchLive to auditioning Mum for Looking Good Naked (urgh!). Mum appears to be going through some kind of midlife crisis and Dad's bad 'yolks' have reached alarming new 'egg-stremes'. The only bright spots in Ellie's life are her naughty kitten, Kitkat, and her best mate, Mads. But when Mads and Ellie apply for The Junior Cake Off, their friendship soon starts to crumble. It doesn't help that the gorgeous Ted Watson has caught Mads's eye, too... Can Ellie win back her best mate, or will their friendship go up in smoke?
I like kittens and I like cake (who doesn't?!) so The Great Kitten Cake Off is definitely the book for me! Aimed at readers aged 9+, it's all about baking, naughty kitties and teenage friendship - the perfect read for these looming Autumn nights!
Thirteen-year-old Ellie wins a place on The Junior Cake Off, which means she needs to seriously learn how to bake. Her best friend, Mads, doesn't get a place and soon their friendship is crumbling like an undercooked Victoria Sponge, and Ellie is left to face the Cake Off judges by herself. With help from her friend Ted, her naughty-but-cute kitten Kitkat and younger brother Charlie, Ellie soon finds that you can do anything you put your mind to, even if that includes baking a cake good enough for TV!
Anna Wilson writes with a really nice, easy to read style, and I soon found I was halfway through the book. I could have read on and on I was enjoying it so much, especially when mischievous Kitkat showed up to wreak some havoc in the kitchen. I also like that, even though this book is heavily focused on baking, it's also about friendship and what happens when it goes wrong. Being a teenager is an important time when it comes to friends, and that's captured here perfectly with Ellie and Mads and their ups and downs.
I'll confess to never having seen a single episode of The Great British Bake Off, but I gather that's what inspired The Junior Cake Off. It all sounds quite exciting actually, with judges and time-sensitive cake making, so maybe I should check it out. Ellie has even inspired me to one day try my hand at my own baking (vampire themed cakes, of course) so I think Anna Wilson deserves a high five. Maybe I'll even enlist the help of my cat, though she is a bit better behaved than Kitkat!
The Great Kitten Cake Off is a fun read for 9+ girls (and boys too), particularly if they like baking, cats or just a good story about two friends figuring out how much they mean to each other. I'll be sure to read more by Anna Wilson and can heartily recommend this to any teenagers out there, whether they're a baking maestro or not. Now, excuse me while I go and check my cat isn't hiding in any kitchen cupboards!