Expected publication: July 18th 2017 by Philomel Books
Format read: Finished copy via publisher
Mr. Marigold the cat loves cakes, calendars and Mondays. As any proper puss would know, there is only one thing to do on a Monday…bake the most fabulous cake ever! With the snazziest recipes sorted, snipped, and clipped for their most exquisite bits, he rolls up his sleeves and gets down to it. Mr. Marigold whips up egg whites…Easy. Then he adds a cup of milk…Peasy. The he sprinkles in just a pinch of…What’s that? A finch (wearing a chef’s hat no less) flying in through the open window! He said a “pinch” not a “finch”!
At every turn, Mr. Marigold’s cake-baking efforts are disrupted by a different type of bird (a finch, pigeons, and loons) until the distractions are too much to bear, and our feline friend decides he needs to take a walk to clear his head. Yet when Mr. Marigold returns, he finds quite the surprise. Apparently birds have skills beyond the powers of interruption. With a recipe comprised of equal parts humor and charm, author-illustrator Mike Malbrough has cooked up a scrumptious addition to the great tradition of interruption books. Perfect for fans of Mo Willems’ Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and David Ezra Stein’s Interrupting Chicken.
In Marigold Bakes a Cake, Mike Malbrough introduces us to the ginger tabby Marigold, who loves perfection and baking solo. But when he sets out to make a “fur-sheddingly” good cake, distractions from his friends in the bird world, make the project a humorous challenge.
There are so many things to love about Marigold Bakes a Cake, beginning with the larger-than-life illustrations. The Kirkus review describes the illustrations as “sprightly”, and that is absolutely the perfect word for how bright and scrumptious each of the illustrations look. Malbrough uses a bright palette to accentuate Marigold’s world, with details that will catch the eye of even the most discerning of young readers.
Outside of the illustrations, readers will be delighted with Marigold’s very particular personality. His devotion to creating the perfect cake is admirable, and a wonderful reminder to find something which readers can be equally passionate about.
Though Marigold’s explosive responses to interruptions by Marigold’s bird friends may initially come off as abrupt, Malbrough cleverly pairs those explosions, with a subplot involving the birds trying to learn how to bake a cake. It’s a gentle reminder on the importance of trying to do something even if you’re not particularly the best at it, and Marigold’s subsequent response is rewarding and heartening – for the most part.
(Because he can’t necessarily contain those explosions!)
All in all, this is a fun, delightful book that will charm readers. Highly recommend, full stop.