This is Garland’s second book starring Mum, Eddie, and toddler Lily. Busy Mum has completely forgotten it’s Grandad’s birthday party today! Fortunately, this family is used to doing things together, and Eddie gets stuck in with great suggestions as well as practical help. For Mum does get distracted, mostly by a stream of neighbours.
We watch, as at each interruption, Eddie, assisted by Fairy Princess Lily, takes over the major role, mixing the bread dough, making tomato sauce for the spaghetti, and gathering apples from the garden ready for baking. The bread is set to prove, and the activity is frantic… still the cake to make! Off go the children to collect eggs from their hens whilst Mum answers the telephone. Every spread has several small pictures showing exactly what the children are cooking, as well as a larger picture showing the kitchen or garden setting. Garland adds touches of humour both in her text and in the cosily domestic pictures.
There are lots of tips too! We see Eddie tearing basil leaves, pricking the cake whilst still warm, drizzling over freshly squeezed orange juice syrup. The book closes with the recipes used for Grandad’s party – ingredients, method and notes on how to get small children involved in cooking. It certainly made me want to get out my baking tins and make an orange and carrot cake! This delightful book deserves to have a huge following, in families as well as in classrooms.