Saturday 9 October 2010

Children's Book Review : The Enchanted Cookie Tree (Flossie Crums : A Baking Adventure) - Helen Nathan

Just a quick flick through this book was all I needed to be 100% certain that 9-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Juliette would absolutely love it and I wasn't wrong. It has a magical story about fairies and mischievous imps, beautiful detailed illustrations, a sprinkling of glitter and, if all that isn't enough (which it already would have been), it has some fabulous recipes that you can have fun making together.

The best thing about the recipes is that they are totally related to the story, they're not just standard recipes that have been slightly tweaked to just vaguely fit in with the book. We have Mini Footprint Baby Cakes in honour of the royal fairy baby, Royal Welcoming Cookies just like Flossie makes in the tale and - best of all in the girls' opinion - Geoffrey's Marshmallow Chocolate Cookies, which are friendly spiders made of marshmallow tea cakes and strawberry bootlace legs !

The girls love baking and bedtime stories in equal measures so combining the two in a "baking adventure" is a really good idea. As I said in my review of the Gruffalo soft toys, I think it always makes a book extra special when you can bring it to life in some way and the recipes allow you to take the story off the page and into your kitchen. Sitting on the settee reading the end of the story as we waited for the special fairytale cookies to finish baking in the oven made the girls feel like they had become part of the story and added a new dimension to the already enchanting tale.

This is the second baking adventure written by children's cookery expert and author Helen Nathan, who also has daughters (now aged 12, 8 and 6) who love books and baking and who served as the inspiration for Flossie Crums. Helen believes that baking helps to boost children's confidence and inspire their creativity but the good news is, even if you're not the world's best baker, you'll still be able to create some delectable goodies thanks to some sneaky failproof ingredients like ready-to-roll icing and edible glitter.

But Flossie Crums isn't just inspiring little girls and their mums. She has appeared on millions of bags of McDougall's flour and the character is also being used in a campaign in schools to encourage children to try their hand at baking, so she's also obviously impressed the powers-that-be.

It's a fabulous concept and a lovely story and one that we will definitely come back to time and time again as it's the ideal way to while away a rainy afternoon baking delicious goodies and sharing a fairy story together.

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £8.99

1 comment:

  1. I thought I'd share these comments on twitter from one of my winners :

    justforcomps @cherylp59 my book arrived today, thank you very much, it's absolutely gorgeous!! x

    justforcomps @cherylp59 it's really beautiful! The baking looks amazing too. such a lovely, different idea. Thanks again for the giveaway.x


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