Billie’s Yummy Bakery Adventure by Sally Rippin, illustrated by Alisa Coburn (Hardie Grant Egmont)
HB RRP $14.99
Reviewed by Liz Ledden
Billie B Brown arrives at kinder hungry and a little cranky. Luckily, there’s some baking going on, however Emily’s manning the bakery and won’t let Billie or Jack join in. Teacher Amy subtly helps the situation out by pointing out some hungry toys and encouraging teamwork, so the children start to bake some delicious treats.
This is when my favourite part of the Billie’s Adventure series takes place – the illustrations (which are vibrant and action-packed) reveal the bakery transforming from a cardboard stand to a fully imagined patisserie, complete with live frogs, robots, matryoshka dolls and more as customers. However, when jealousy and competitiveness brew between the kids, things start to go wrong. The baked goods turn from ‘fantabulous’ to disastrous, when Billie adds a whole packet of magic mix to her cake in order to out-bake Emily. It explodes everywhere, causing the customers to flee.
Billie comes up with a solution to create a new cake, encouraging collaboration with the other kids. This is another feel-good story from a fun series that bridges the gap between picture books and short, illustrated junior fiction. Emotional highs and lows and age appropriate conflict are found in a scenario blurring the lines between what’s real and imaginary – just like the life of a pre-schooler, really!