I’m delighted to be sharing with you on the blog the winner of the 2015 Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition Laurel Remington’s debut novel ‘The Secret Cooking Club.’ What would you do if your Mum was a famous blogger who loved nothing better than telling the world all about the ups and downs of your life? How would you cope at school if your Mum revealed that you still liked wearing your favourite Disney Princess knickers? The star and victim of her Mum’s blog, poor shy Scarlett finds herself in a permanent state of worry and anxiety, every time her Mum posts a new blog, she dreads reading what she will reveal next. But one evening Scarlett finds an empty kitchen next door with a beautiful recipe book left by an elderly neighbour. As Scarlett begins to fall in love with baking it opens up a world of possibilities. Making new friends and forming the Secret Cooking Club her life begins to change for the better. Can Scarlett ensure the club stays undiscovered and will she find the secret ingredients to true happiness?
I absolutely loved this heart warming, funny story of friendship, baking and family life it contains all the successful ingredients for a real showstopper of a book. Incredibly appealing to older children, who are bound to be able to identify with an embarrassing Mum – just ask my girls they will soon tell you all about it – and finding your first love. Exploring the pitfalls of friendship and how easily misunderstandings can cause huge rifts, it gives children reassurance that problems can be solved. Wonderfully empathetic it gives us an insight into life from so many different perspectives and helps you understand that things are not always what they seem. It was devoured by my 10 year old daughter who is a huge ‘The Great British Bake Off’ fan and spends hours poring over my cake decorating books. We rarely agree but we both adored this book and at one point we were arguing over who got to read it next. I had to wait until she went to bed so I could finish reading it. A brilliant debut from Laurel Remington which will leave you with a warm glow and probably a tear (or two) in your eyes.
We felt inspired after reading ‘The Secret Cooking Club’ and decided to make a rainbow cake which is much easier than it looks. If you want to try for yourself we used this recipe on Kerry Cooks blog.
Thank you to Laura Smythe and Chicken House for sending me a copy of this delightful book.