September 2014, Red Fox, 160 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Content: lost pet, fairy, magic
Summary from Random House Children's Publishers
Ellie's Magical Bakery is a great success. Ellie and Victoria Sponge are having lots of fun baking cakes which Ellie sells in the shop and Basil delivers on his roller skates. Even Whisk is helping out, by decorating the boxes!
But when a local boy loses his new puppy, Ellie and Basil are desperate to find it for him. Ellie's magical book has a recipe to help them, but it is rather unusual. The recipe leads them to the butcher's, where they find the puppy has stolen some sausages, and to the village green where they find a stick . . . But how will the recipe help Ellie and her friends find the lost puppy?
I was super excited about this book because I like shop based stories, especially food ones. The illustrations matched the cuteness of the cover, so no surprises there. The story didn't live up to my expectations. I hadn't & haven't read book 1 of the series, which may explain a lot of what I don't understand. I don't understand why Ellie is so stuck with her family, why she doesn't try and get away from them. They are vile! They play dirty, trying to discredit her prosperous bakery.
More than that I couldn't suspend belief that Ellie ran the bakery. I loved and believed in Victoria Sponge's magic (the baking fairy), the magical book which gave Ellie just the right recipe for every occasion. I couldn't figure out if Ellie was on holiday, and able to take care of her store all day. I wondered which adult was supposed to be in charge of it - I know fiction isn't reality, but I like to be able to believe a story could be real, you know? This is a sweet story, I just have certain elements I couldn't gel with.
Another cute magical read is Hattie B Magical Vet: The Dragon's Song by Claire Taylor-Smith (Children's, 7 years +, 10E/10E)