Jasper & Scruff: The Great Cat Cake-Off is a page turning, early reader with a colourful cast of animal characters, delicious food, a wonderful villain and fabulous illustrations. Jasper the cat loves cooking and fancy food while boisterous puppy Scruff much prefers to eat but, despite their differences, they make a great team when they open their new diner.
The Story: Jasper and Scruff open ‘Paws Diner’ which quickly becomes famous for their speciality – Cheese Monsieur. But when Lady Catterly opens The Sophisticafe directly opposite they lose all their customers. On The Sophisticafe’s opening night Jasper and Scruff manage to sneak in and try Lady Catterly’s special, The Sophisticheese, but are thrown out before renowned food critique, Gaspard Le Skunk, visits. Determined not to be outdone by his rival, Jasper creates a fancy new menu in the hopes of getting a three paw rating from Gaspard. But Scruff is worried that his friend’s ambition is causing him to forget about his regular customers. Can Jasper impress Gaspard with his new menu? Will their customers be impressed? Or is there an easier way to tempt them back?
Fierce rivalry, food sabotage, recipe theft, fancy menus, secret ingredients and friendship are intertwined in this action packed, food filled story – reading about exploding cheese sauce and Salted Caramel Cake made us hungry!
The Great Cat Cake-Off’s characters include Zach the zebra, ballet dancer Bunny Moloko and her fiancé Alvis. We love waitress Milly and waiter Milo’s roller skates and think that the way that Gaspard shows his displeasure when he tries a dish is really funny (he’s a skunk, need we say more?!). Lady Catterly will stop at nothing to sabotage Jasper’s attempt to cook for Gaspard – we love her gorilla security guards!
Nicola Colton’s illustrations are fabulous, she has created a really welcoming diner, complete with jukebox! The characters wear brilliant outfits, we particularly like Zach’s hat and Bunny’s tutu.
Each page is highly illustrated with small, easy to read chunks of text. It’s the same size as a chapter book which gives it a grown up look without being too overwhelming for a beginner reader who is making the transition from reading picture books.
Nicola has activity sheets on her website to accompany the series if you would like to learn how to draw Jasper and Scruff.
Age Range: 5 +
Author / Illustrator: Nicola Colton
Thank you to Little Tiger for sending a review copy of The Great Cat Cake-Off. We want to read the others in the series now.