Thursday, April 11, 2013


After school today I told the kids we were off on an adventure, not  really an exaggeration on my part, certainly an adventure in kid terms. I'd packed a few supplies, a great book to read, a cake, picnic blanket and water bottles ( I don't really leave the house without the kids water bottles, you too?).

We didn't have to travel far, which initially bought some disappointment, "this isn't an adventure" - maybe I over sold it? We are so lucky to live opposite a large park/sporting ground. After finding a perfect spot under some trees, we set up our blanket and the cake was spied immediately! With cake in hand they sat, under the trees, with the late Autumn afternoon sun filtering through the leaves as I read, A great cake by Tina Matthews a finalist in New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards.  I read it not once, but SEVERAL times - like all good books, you can't just read them the once! I had a totally captive audience, I should have bought more books along!

The cake! Made with the recipe in the back of the book 

Miss E is wearing pants by Croutons 

I don't want to give too much away about this book, but I'll share the little blurb from the Bookseller's website : "The essential ingredients in this book are family, imaginative play and simple pleasures. A must for every family with a preschooler. (I agree!)
Harvey wants to bake a great cake, but doesn't have all the ingredients. That doesn't stop him. Harvey can make cakes from the most amazing things"

Harvey has a couple of attempts at making a cake with some interesting ingredients, so once story time was over I sent the kids on a scavenger hunt to try and recreate the "cake" on the cover of the book, (yip I bought a wee bucket with me too, a well planned adventure!). I think they might have enjoyed scavenging around the park more than the actual eating of the cake! They found all sorts of things and even more on the walk back home. 

It made me think why don't we do that more often? Take a bunch of books to the park, or even set up in our back yard and have a read together. It's great just to get out of the house and forget about the housework, we came home all refreshed. 

I'd like to share a bit of back ground info on Tina Mathews the talented writer and illustrator of this book.
"Tina Mathews was born in New Zealand and now lives with her family in Sydney. She is an artist and designer who has worked in children's theatre and television for 25 years. Including on Bananas in Pyjamas, The Ferals, The Upside Down Show and Jim Henson's Labyrinth. Tina teaches puppetry at NIDA and is designer of the best selling Black and White Baby Mobile.
Her first title with Walker Books Australia, Out of the Egg won the Best First Book Award in the 2008 New Zealand Post Book Awards and Waiting for Later was a finalist in the Picture Book category of the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards" (info gained from the Booksellers website)

I was really impressed with the quality of the illustrations in "A great cake", after the initial reading the kids took great delight in pouring over the pages and looking at the little details in the illustrations. It's also got a "great" recipe in the back for making a cake of your own, delicious! Delicious I tell you!

This little adventurous outing has got me thinking of all, the other places we could take some books with us to read. Any suggestions? I think we'll  I'll abandon the housework and have afternoon tea/reading in the park more often.
A big thanks to Booksellers for supplying us with a review copy of  "A great cake"!


  1. I think is great idea!!! Last week I received my handprinted swap, thank you so muh. Love the colors.

  2. What a great idea. I love it. Best Mummy award to you for last week! If only this rain would buzz off, I might think to rush out and buy the book for a similar 'adventure'. Nice to put 2 and 2 together on Saturday night. Look forward to seeing you again.

  3. A fab book! Have read it over and over to classes at school - there is a lot in it - imagination, talking about shopping, baking, measuring, family routines, etc. love the recipe at the back - your cake looks delicious.
    I am waiting for your other reviews :) - there has been a lot of discussions over the finalists with other school librarians.


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