The Great Dragon Bake-Off
32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99
Flamie Oliver was a dragon – and especially enormous, terrifying dragon. So enormous and terrifying, in fact, that he was invited to the Ferocious Dragon Academy, a special school for dragons who were very, very, good at being very, very bad. But Flamie had a secret – he was very, very bad at being very, very bad BUT he was very, very, good at baking.
He loved pastries and breads and cupcakes and cakes and was an expert at creating the most delicious treats. He spent so much time practising and perfecting his creations that he forgot to practise his dastardly dragon skills and when the finals day he came, he was not ready. While his classmates Heston Blowitall, Scaly Berry and Paul firewood performed their death-defying deeds, which pleased Miss Puffitup immensely, Flamie failed. And so the only way to graduate is for Flamie to kidnap a princess and eat her!
Flamie had no problem kidnapiong the princess, but how do you eat something like that? Which are the best flavour combinations to make her palatable? How can Flamie get out of this pickle? what did he do that means he is the star of Miss Puffitup’s Brilliant Baking Academy?
Cooking shows abound on television and while their target audience may not be the same as that for this book, nevertheless young listeners and readers will delight in the humour and understand the conundrum that Flamie has – and their parents and carers sharing the story with them will appreciate the clever play on both the names but also the inspiration, the Great British Bake-Off. While the illustrations and the dastardly deeds seem to confirm the stereotype that little ones have of dragons, it is Flamie’s difference that is at the core of the story. Even though he keeps his passion and skills a secret at first, it is these which come to the fore and are celebrated and he and his young audience learn that it takes all kinds and it’s OK to be different. Having the courage to be yourself is the most important trait of all.
Full of fun and colour, action and movement this is another winner from Nicola O’Byrne who also gave us the fabulous Use Your Imagination and illustrated the tender My Little Star. And to keep the enjoyment going there is a postcard and an activity pack to download.