My enormous thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for children’s book Hector’s Perfect Cake, written and illustrated by Lily Clarke. I’m delighted to share my review today.
Hector’s Perfect Cake
Hector is baking a cake for his Granny and he’s determined that it’s going to be perfect.
But when he discovers that the peanut butter jar is empty, Hector decides that he must head out to find some more, or else his perfect cake will be ruined.
As time begins to run out, Hector’s luck begins to run out too. He may have to accept that sometimes perfection just isn’t possible…
My Review of Hector’s Perfect Cake
Hector’s cake is missing a vital ingredient.
What a simply lovely children’s book. Hector’s Perfect Cake is just the right length to retain a child’s interest and has fabulous illustrations that enhance the story perfectly. I thought it was wonderful. I like to comment on text, illustration and layout in children’s books, and Hector’s Perfect Cake has the balance beautifully. The illustrations are completely charming and it’s lovely to have a badger as the main character rather than the dog or cat of so many children’s books. The font style and use of ‘white space’ for text means that there is clarity for reading that will support independent readers as well as adults reading the book with or to children. Similarly, the linguistic devices such as the way direct speech is set out, the variety of sentence length and the use of ellipsis and repetition, for example, all contribute to enhancing not just the pleasure in reading the story, but they model great writing for children too, so that children can employ them in their own emergent writing.
Despite the fact that this is a children’s story of under thirty pages, it’s jammed with content making it a story that can be read and enjoyed time and again. In Hector’s Perfect Cake Lily Clarke explores friendship through characters like Artie and Lola who try to help Hector in his quest to find peanut butter, affording the opportunity to discuss with children how they might help and support their friends. The author looks at emotions, from excitement through disappointment to love, with the ultimate message that perfection doesn’t have to be achieved for us to be happy that I think is a fabulous concept for children to learn.
I loved Hector’s Perfect Cake. It is everything a children’s story should be and I recommend it unreservedly.
About Lily Clarke
Lily Clarke is the author and illustrator of Hector’s Perfect Cake.
Lily studied Physics at the University of York and now works as an innovation consultant in Cambridge. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, she runs a small business called Lily in Space Designs, where she sells a range of illustrated products inspired by books and nature. Her favourite animals are badgers, birds and bats, (although she also loves animals that don’t begin with the letter B!).
Hector’s Perfect Cake is Lily’s first book, inspired by her own experiences of dealing with perfectionism.
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