We really enjoyed reading the Cake the Wolf and the Witch, we just couldn’t put it down! It’s a wonderfully original fairytale fantasy with a modern day hero and heroine and we love the way that Maudie Smith has intertwined so many well known fairytale characters into a story that includes its own unique twists.
The Story: When Max, Nettle and Wild, jump out of a large cake at a wedding they are surprised to find themselves in The Land of Ever After. Max is even more surprised when he discovers that he is expected to save the land from evil witch, Babs Haggard. As Max tries to come to terms with the situation, Babs Haggard kidnaps Wild and takes him to her castle in Beyond. To save Wild, and The Land of Ever After, Max and Nettle must make a treacherous journey across Harsh Mountain. But can they make it in time to save him? Will this fairytale have a happy ending?
Max is grieving for his dead mother and struggling to cope with the addition of Dad’s new wife and her two children to his family. During his quest to save The Land of Ever After he builds a relationship with his new step sister, Nettle and discovers strengths he didn’t know he had. Thrown together through adversity their story runs parallel with Wild’s rescue and their attempt to defeat Babs Haggard.
We love all the fairytale references and Maudie Smith has woven them into the plot in a way that keeps you reading to see who will appear next. Many of our favourite fairytales are referenced including Snow White, Rapunzel, The Gingerbread Man and Red Riding Hood. Other characters, such as Tilly the Troll and Pinocchio, introduced my daughter to new fairytales. Several characters are introduced along the journey and by the time Max and Nettle got to Babs Haggard’s castle my daughter was excitedly identifying the fairytales. We were very surprised at the twist which involved the mysterious character of the wolf! The story leads to an action packed, thrilling confrontation with Babs Haggard which adds a twist to a well known fairytale but we don’t want to tell you any more and spoil the story!
Illustrations by Tony Ross appear at the beginning of each chapter and give a hint to a fairytale that is referenced. My daughter constantly referred back to the pictures of the characters on the cover, she was especially fascinated by Babs Haggard who is evil personified. In comparison to the evil there is also humour, my daughter loves Tilly the Troll and Sir Gladalad makes us laugh with his rainbow chasing obsession!
the Cake the Wolf and the Witch is full of magic, suspense and action which kept us turning the pages until the very end. It’s a brilliant read!
Age Range: 7 +
Author: Maudie Smith / Illustrator: Tony Ross