Pinkoo Shergill , the boy with not just a sweet tooth -but with all sweet teeth -dreams of decadent pastries. Not just devouring them , but meticulously exquisitely baking them, shaping them and decorating them until they are ‘Droolastic’ and ‘Yummiful’. But these dreams of making Olympic history at the BAKE-A-THON unfortunately can stay just that, dreams …as his stern Papaji is busy tutoring him to be a shooting champ to keep up with the illustrious Grandpa’s tradition.
Coach Aloo is trying his best to make him want to be ‘up there’ but even Meanie Marksman, annoying Daljit’s ‘nasticilious’ jabs can’t get Pinkoo to focus on shooting. His mind was always on Cake-o-clock when Papaji was at work and Beeji was at her Gymkhana club , when he could sneak into the kitchen and bake without the fear of being caught ‘white handed’( with flour of course:)
But when best friend Manu tells him about the Great Junior Bake-a-thon coming to India, his biggest dream is well within his reach and Mission Impossible, PSPC ‘ Pinkoo Shergill Pastry Chef’ is launched. Now he just has to come up with a way to keep it under wraps from Papaji who certainly doesn’t think boys should be in the kitchen, find a way to escape shooting practise, elevate his cooking skills to new format of the contest and ensure that cousin Tutu kept his mouth shut. All of a sudden, the dreadibble ‘Neem-rat’ who was the owner of Coffee Oye with the best pastries in town, seems a viable partner-in-bake!
The story buzzes with excitement , as Pinkoo polishes his skills under the guidance of Chef Khanna and creates killer ‘scrumpilicious’ combos for the competition . Will they manage to keep it a secret from Paaji and Beeji and make it to the competition finals in Chandigarh? Will Pinkoo win the bake-a-thon or be forced to abandon it to be a world-class -shooter?
This book is author Vibha Batra’s 18th book ! And she has expertly kept this book at a fun, breezy pace, that will keep you excited and eager and hooked till the end, albeit making you very hungry. Shamika Chaves’s zany illustrations add the perfect fun touch to the heartwarmingly crafted characters. Yet even in this exuberant book brimming with whacky portmanteau exclamations and edible masterpieces, the author has deftly slipped in the dilemma of trying to live a parent’s unfulfilled dream, gender stereotypes and the incredible strength of will power that can overcome any physical shortcomings. The end is the absolute best , but you will have to read to find out why it is perfect in every way.
One of the sweetest books to read, perfect for dispelling the Covid gloom.
(Friendly advice -Ideally sit with a few delicious treats , lest you will have to stop reading and start baking!)