A Sprinkle of Sadie (Lana Spasevski, illus by Joanie Stone, Affirm)
A Sprinkle of Sadie, illustrated by Joanie Stone, is the first in a new junior fiction series from Australian writer Lana Spasevski. Seven-year-old Sadie Le lives with her family in the town of Cookgrove. Her dad is a famous YouTube celebrity with his very own baking channel and her mother is a hardworking police officer. Sadie loves to cook, and the three stories in Spasevski’s charming book are all about the power of food to bring families and communities together. In the first story, Sadie makes a birthday cake for her mother; in the second she helps with a fundraising baking stall; and in the third she hopes that a chocolate cake will provide a warm welcome to the new teacher at her school. In each of the stories Sadie is confronted with a challenge—she uses the wrong flour, doesn’t mix the food colouring correctly, and struggles to understand someone else’s cultural traditions—but with a little lateral thinking, creativity and hard work, she eventually saves the day. Each story is made up of short, propulsive chapters, and the energetic illustrations and liberal use of text boxes make A Sprinkle of Sadie an excellent choice for emerging readers. With its focus on resilience, compassion and diversity, it is shaping up to be an enjoyable series that will appeal to a broad range of readers, and the included recipes are a clever way to keep the conversation going even after the last page has been turned. Highly recommended for ages six and up.
Lian Hingee is the digital marketing manager at Readings. She speaks with Lana Spasevski here.