Can we lick the spoon now?
Written by Carol Goess and illustrated by Tamsin Ainslie (Working Title Press)
PB RRP $14.99 ISBN 978192150429
Reviewed by Daniela Andrews
I have a confession … I’m secretly terrified my three-year-old is going to tip a bowl of left-over cake batter right over her face. Such is her confidence in reciting the prose in this story every time we bake a cake that it’s only a matter of time before she starts acting out the pictures too, right?
Sticky-hair-terror aside, we really do have lots of fun with this oft-requested picture book. And it has a definite interactive component to it, too, given the last line in the story gently nudges you into the kitchen to, indeed, bake a cake. Plus provides the recipe on the last page. (Which is, incidentally, the only fault with this book – it feels like the recipe falls victim to matching the story, so the ingredient quantities don’t quite produce a worthy cake.)
I can’t decide what I like better in this book – the sing-song effect of the onomatopoeic words (‘splish, splosh, splish’), the repetition of key phrases for emergent readers (‘what can we do now?’) or the delightful illustrations on each page. It is a classic story about two children helping their (charmingly gender-netural) parent bake a cake. The humour lies partly in the text (for what child can suppress a giggle when reading out ‘lick, burp, lick, burp, lick, lick, lick’!) and partly in the pictures (has that cheeky toddler in the background just opened that cupboard?).
In fact, the only thing that’s stopping this story from being more fun is me – because, I think, finally, it is time …. to let my three-year-old tip that bowl over her face.