I do like books that go against the gender stereotypes and that's exactly what happens in The Carrot Cake Catastrophe. It's Jenny's Mummy's birthday, so Jenny and her Grandad decide to bake her a carrot cake as a surprise. Only, it seems that Grandad should have gone to Specsavers and watched a few more editions of the Great British Bake Off as his interpretation of the recipe is far from correct!
Instead of butter a bar of soap is added. He makes the common episode one of Bake Off mistake of adding salt instead of sugar (when will they ever label those Kilner jars they use?) and for some crazy reason he thinks the carrots should go in whole, straight from the garden. As expected the results aren't quite up to Mary Berry's standards, but when they hide it from Mummy in the garden it has the bonus result of attracting all the local birds who seem to think it is amazing. Who knew that birds like soap?
Little Miss C enjoys baking cakes with me in the kitchen and she loved seeing Grandad getting all the steps wrong as they made the cake together. Each time she'd shout out what he'd done wrong and what he should have done right. The part that shows Jenny and her Grandad going out into their back garden to pick the carrots for the cake also really appealed to me as it helps children understand where food comes from and shows that they can grow things in their own garden. As soon as she'd finished reading it she wanted us to find her apron and start baking and it's great to see a book that inspires children so much.
In a really nice touch the last page of the book gives you a carrot cake recipe that you can try at home with your children. The only niggle I have with it is that the recipe includes walnuts. In a day when so many children have nut allergies and when health professionals tell very young children to avoid nuts due to the allergy risk and potential chocking hazard it seems a bit strange to have a recipe including them when plenty of carrot cake recipes don't. A shame really.
For children who don't have a nut problem this book would make a lovely gift, especially if you were to also give them the ingredients to make a carrot cake themselves, and maybe a mixing bowl and wooden spoon too.
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of The Carrot Cake Catastrophe to review as a Paragon Book Buddy. This post contains affiliate links.