Review Blog

May 19 2020

Sometimes cake by Edwina Wyatt

cover image

Illus. by Tamsin Ainslie. Walker Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781760650421.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Each section of this charming book begins, 'Audrey found Lion', and goes on to tell us what Lion has with him, prompting Audrey to ask the same question about what Lion has: a balloon, a cake, a hat, and so on. And each question leads to information about the Lion. It is not his birthday but it is soon he says and he likes Tuesdays and coconut, and orange and yellow, while Audrey adds purple. Audrey adds other things she likes as well, and they celebrate the things they like together.
But one day Lion is not celebrating anything: he tells Audrey this is just an ordinary day. So she goes away to find things that are ordinary but have made their days extraordinary. She makes bunting and cuts up paper to fill a jar with colour; she makes them hats, and brings out her musical instruments. Lion comes along to see what she is doing and they play together, making the day anything but ordinary, the two working together to make it joyous.
The pen and watercolour illustrations sparkle depicting the friendship between the two characters as they play together, discussing the things they both like. One might like yellow, and one purple, but both colours are included in their play. One likes Tuesdays and the other adds Thursdays, and they both like coconut and cake.
Pages are filled with the detail of the play area, and younger readers will love spotting things they like to play with, and recognise things they could make easily to brighten someone's day.
A book which encourages playing together, but also to alert children that sometimes their friends might not be as happy as they usually are, and give them a remedy to help them have a happier day. I love the sparse text, brimming with subtle overtones, encouraging children to be more aware of how their friends are feeling. Themes: Depression, Sharing, Friendship, Mental health, Well being, Baking. Teacher's notes are available.
Fran Knight

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