Review Blog

Aug 04 2016

The great dragon bake off by Nicola O'Byrne

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408839560
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Dragons. Cooking. Friendship. Humour. When Flamie Oliver is supposed to be practising his fire breathing dragon skills to graduate, he'd prefer to be cooking. He just loves pastry - all sorts of pastry, puff, rough, sweet or salty, he doesn't care. He justs loves to cook and tries his hand at all sorts of cakes and desserts and even a wedding cake. When the final day comes to graduate from the Ferocious Dragon Academy, he fails but is given one final test to prove his worth. He must kidnap a princess and eat her. He can do the first part of the task, without a hitch but eating her creates another problem as he cannot find a recipe which involves a princess. The two sit down together to nut out a solution to Flamie's problem.
A lovely story about working through a solution to a problem, and in so doing, finding a friend, told against the well known background of the bake off competitions which children will know well from television, the use of the familiar names will raise laughs as the dragon cooks his way through the book. The illustrations showing this lovable dragon with his sly looks at the princess in deciding how to eat her, or the looks of utter contentment when cooking and eating his cakes, or the animal with his chef's hat apron and back pack, are wonderful and will entreat readers to look more closely at the detail on each page. Children will gleefully recognise the various bits of cake and pastry illustrated as well as having fun working out the names of the cooks the dragons parody.
Fran Knight

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