The Country Bake-Off by Riya Aarini

The Country Bake-Off by Riya Aarini
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Mouse Country is about to hold its famous Country Bake-Off! Joyful Jazella is eager to enter the competition. But Proud Pazenna has an extravagant kitchen and fancy spices—and is sure she’ll take home the prize. Will Jazella’s cake impress the judges, or will Pazenna outbake her?

Homemade cake is one of the simple pleasures in life, especially when it’s shared with everyone.

Baking can be tricky business at times. I giggled as I read the scenes that described how both characters gathered up their ingredients and decided which ones to use. This was even more true for the ingredients that might not have been perfect at first glance. How someone responds to something like that can certainly share a lot of information about their personality!

The message felt too heavy-handed to me even after taking consideration for the age group for which it was written. Everything from the character’s names to the ways in which they were described left no room for interpretation or shades of gray. Characters were described as either completely good or bad. I definitely wouldn’t expect a picture book to be as nuanced as something written for adults, but it sure would have been nice to have characters who had a mixture of positive and negative traits.

I did enjoy the scene that showed how the judges reacted to the cakes that Joyful Jazella and Proud Pazenna submitted to the contest. It was entertaining to watch Proud Pazenna carry her large and impressive cake up to them, especially given how many layers the cake had and how carefully she had to move to get it to them in one piece. Joyful Jazella’s modest little cake also piqued my interest, and I couldn’t wait to see what the judges thought of it as well.

The Country Bake-Off was a lighthearted read.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.