Monday 16 September 2013

Picture book review : Philippa Fairy Cake and the Secret Pets' Tea Party - Sarah Jane Funnell

Since going back to work and school, we've got back into routine, and that includes our bedtime story routine. Luckily, we've had lots of new picture books to review lately. Tonight, we discovered Philippa Fairy Cake and the Secret Pets' Tea Party by Sarah Jane Funnell. This is the sequel to Philippa Knickerbocker Glory and the Ice Cream Castle that we reviewed last year.

As the title suggests, the story follows Philippa and her young friends having a tea party with their pets. They have lots of fun with Little Miss Whiskers the cat, Bon Bon the Pomeranian Spaniel Cross and Pickles the Border Collie and, as they charge around the garden playing, they come across a mysterious circus tent housing a dog show.

They all go inside and the cheeky kitty shows the doggies how it's done, winning first prize. The dog show owners would like the children and their pets to stay in the tent forever to train the dogs, but the children have other ideas and return to the garden, with Philippa going through a bit of a psychedelic whirlwind.

The Madhouse Mini-testers were slightly confused. So was it all a dream? A secret fantasy? Or a magical adventure in a parallel universe? Well, you can make your own mind up but one of the party guests does go home clutching the winner's cup ! On the final page, Philippa also decides that for her next adventure, she'd like to be a mermaid. Aha, I sense a new installment in the works !

 4-year-old Pierre was a bit concerned about "the nasty lady in the tent who wanted to keep the children away from their mummies and daddies" but this led on to a useful chat about stranger danger, which is always a good thing, and I also explained that when you're playing make believe, you don't really go to the magical lands that you dream up, so Philippa and her friends were safe in the garden all along. The Madhouse Mini-testers also liked the fact that it mentioned rescue dogs and the Dogs' Trust, as one of Madhouse Nanny and Grandad's dogs is a rescue dog.

It's a fun read with brightly coloured, detailed illustrations that really bring the story to life. Now we'll have to go and build our own play tent to see if we end up on a big adventure too !

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £7.99

Disclosure : We received a copy of the book in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Picture book review : Fairies of Blossom Bakery : Plum and the Winter Ball - Mandy Archer & Kirsteen Harris-Jones

Picture book review : Pigs Might Surf - Olly Miles & Anna Louise

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