Bridget is indomitable. Despite her dreadful life in the Orphanage for Errant Childs she faces everything thrown at her by the monstrous Miss Acrid undeterred. In this she is helped by several inventions of her own creation – including her paraskirt – and her best friend, Tom. However, her dream is to find a real family. It seems to be one dream that will never come true – until Mr Vanderpuff, owner of Vanderpuff’s Bake Shop and the most amazing baker in the world arrives at the Orphanage. Could Bridget find a true home? There are only two obstacles – Bridget cannot bake at all – and Miss Acrid is determined to imprison her again.
Martin Stewart has created a lively character in Bridget, and one that young readers are going to want to meet again and again. Her ingenuity is admirable, her inventions imaginative – and the results of her baking attempts dramatic. She is indeed ‘the best-worst baker in the world’ With a nod to Dahl, the author has created another extreme character in Miss Acrid. There will be relief when the Orphange for Errant Childs crumbles to dust leaving only its magnificent library intact – now to become the public library for the community. Full of heart, the narrative moves swiftly, the author’s style immediate, avoiding over long description and allowing plenty of dialogue. Neat footnotes add interest providing information that might otherwise slow things down. David Harben’s images interspersed throughout the text bring Bridget to life with her determined expression and amazing hair. Here is a character to grab the attention, the stories full of heart, humour and imagination and ideal for that KS2 audience whether as a read alone – or read aloud. One to watch.