Anna and her six extremely animate toy animals are back—this time, for an ultimately collaborative adventure in the kitchen.
Pingpong the penguin announces, “Anna, I’m as hungry as a bear.” When Anna offers a lesson on baking a chocolate cake, everyone’s in. In a double-page spread, Anna directs each animal to fetch ingredients stowed all around the kitchen. The action—and plenty of it—unfolds in Dormal’s soft-colored mixed-media panels, with Roques' dialogue in bubbles. Grizzler claims that he’d “rather bake by myself, in the living room.” Meanwhile, Fuzzball’s untutored way with utensils and the batter—“SPLAT! SPLAT! SPLAT!”—gives rise to a wayward swing, an airborne, ricocheting bowl, and a stupendous detonation of chocolate that spares no critter or surface. Grizzler interrupts the escalating squabbles by entering the kitchen with a perfectly baked cake, and when he heads off to make another, skeptical Anna and the animals follow him—to the village bakery. Lesson learned (don’t cheat to impress), Grizzler rejoins the others as they complete their deliciously cooperative venture and share the fresh-from-the-oven result. Mother-and-son team Roques and Dormal deliver another comics-driven mix of gentle instruction and giggle-inducing visuals.
A sweet treat. More, please! (Picture book. 4-7)