Review Blog

Dec 31 2019

Pea and Nut by Matt Stanton

cover image

ABC Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780733340673. 24pp., hbk.
Pea the panda and Nut the flamingo are best friends but they are also great rivals. Anything Pea can do, the boastful Nut can do better!! So when Pea decides to make a cake, and Nut decides to make it a baking competition, there is a contest worthy of any seen in the showstopper category of The Great Australian Bake-Off!
Nut is convinced that his cake will win while Pea's will be put in the bin and driven by his ego (and a few mind-games from Pea) Nut begins "a complex production of layers and towers and major construction." Will he create a cake that meets his ambition and expectations? Or will Pea's slow but steady approach take the cake?
Most readers will know that if it is a Matt Stanton book, it will be funny and this is no exception. The rhyming text, the vibrant, action-packed illustrations and a concept that will appeal to younger readers combine to make this one of his best, and it is just the first in the series for these two oddball friends. But like all top-shelf picture books there is so much more than the story on the page - it screams out for experimentation in baking and stacking shapes; the contrast between the friends' approach and how Stanton portrays this can teach little ones about characterisation and the need to look deeply at the detail; and there is also a comparison to be made with The hare and the tortoise and the lessons that offers. Children can also ponder Pea's final gesture - is this what they expected?
A great read for all ages.
Barbara Braxton

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