Most kids bake with mom. But baking with dad can be even more fun! Aurora Cacciapuoti captured the messy and funny adventure in her picture book “Baking with dad”.
The title of “Baking with dad” captured our four-year-old right away: A girl with crazy red hair, looking just like her friend Mara, balancing cooking bowls while doing a crazy dance with her dad. She just had to love it! And then opening the book and seeing all these tasty ingredients for a baking adventure – and some not so tasty one…
Aurora Cacciapuoti’s illustrations are colorful and funny and one of the reasons we loved this book from the first page. But let’s get back to the story. The heroine of this book, a little redhead, is excited to do some baking with her dad. After choosing the ingredients carefully (we come back to the inside of the book cover with tasty and yucky ingredients) they get right to work. Juggling eggs and accidentally cracking one on the family cat’s head is as much part of the adventure as literarily throwing the sugar in the bowl and doing a rhythmic mixing, shaking and whisking-dance. Soon both dad and daughter are covered in flour, as is their cat. Selecting the right fruits for their creation becomes a hula-dance. And then the magic begins… The girl and her dad wait patiently for their handiwork to bake in the oven. And as always, decorating is most of the fun.
The result of all the work: A wonderful, eccentric and wonderful birthday cake for a surprise party. Who can resist a seven-layered creation with lollipops, fruits, candles and everything else that makes a birthday cake special? This pie is just as vivid as Aurora Cacciapuoti’s illustrations. You can just sense the excitement the heroine and her dad baking a special birthday cake for a special birthday surprise!
I also loved that “Baking with dad” takes a break from typical gender roles. This book is targeted to preschool-aged children – a phase, where prejudices start to form in little heads. Is mom the one cooking and dad the one repairing the car and staying out of the kitchen? Not in this family. Aurora Cacciapuoti never shows us the mom of the little girl and with the recipient of the wonderful cake being a man we don’t know for sure if she wants to broach the issue of same-sex relationships. But even if it isn’t: For us it was a good chance to talk about families with two dads or two moms just being as happy as we are. The last page of the book shows a colorful party scene with families of all ethnicities, a dad carrying a baby, kids playing and everybody having tons of fun. Just like it should be!
With recent political events, it’s more important than ever to raise our children to be tolerant. But even if you ignore the significance of the book for a liberal way of life it’s a vibrant story of an adventure with dad and all the fun you can have with the ordinary task of baking! Finja giggled the whole time and especially loved the goofy family’s cat being part of the story. Long story short: “Baking with dad” is a great, diverse book for every bookshelf and ever library!
„Baking with dad“
written and illustrated by Aurora Cacciapuoti
Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
Publisher: Child’s Play International
Hardcover: 32 pages