Pinkoo Shergill is here to take you on a fantabulously yummilicious ride, treating you with his delicacies filled with ingredients of humour, love and friendship.
Pinkoo, the 10-year-old boy breathes, dreams and lives for baking while his Papaji is conditioned to believe the kitchen is not for boys to step in. How Pinkoo overcomes all the hurdles to enter the Great Junior Bake-a-Thon with an unexpected surprise waiting at the end is what the story is about.
Even while the story rides on the wheels of humour, it is certainly anchored in sensibility slamming stereotypes then and there. To do so without sounding preachy, to be able to talk in the language of children is the biggest plus of the book.
The characters are well defined and much relatable. The blabbermouth cousin Tutu, the supportive friend Manu, the annoying-girl-turned-friendly Nimrat are all very much liked by my daughter as she could relate to one of each from her own friends’ circle.
My daughter, Miss M was fascinated about the joint family set-up and the Punjabi way of addressing the relatives. Also, the generous use of onomatopoeias (like buuuzzz, pinggg, whooosh) and telescopic words (like giganterous, coolsome, irritatinnoying) caught her fancy at once and now she has her own list of such words.
What you see above is some Pinkoo Shergill inspired cakes and cupcakes drawn by my daughter. Also yes, she is a big-time unicorn fan!
My personal favourite happens to be the conversations between Pinkoo’s and Tutu’s eyes.
Yeah right, conversation between eyes! They have a dialogue going. I told you, this book is hilarious.
A word of caution: The book takes you through a ride of yummilicious cake preparations, all so drool-worthy and is best enjoyed with at least a cupcake or gulabjamun by your side.
The author, Vibha Batra, has kept the language simple making it for a quick fun-filled read. She has also filled in the story with a plethora of action words and fancy adjectives that is certain to catch the fancy of young readers. It can also come in handy for teachers too to introduce the same in a fun way through the story.
The only minus I see in the book is the overuse of capitalizations which felt sore to my adult eyes though I’m not sure if I can call it a minus as my daughter found it just fine.
The cover page by the illustrator Shamika Chaves is vibrant and beautiful. The exaggerated expressions in the sketches inside adds to the humour.
Additionally, the quirky doodles in the first and last pages can actually turn up as a colouring activity for kids (idea courtesy, Miss.M).
Altogether, Pinkoo Shergill makes for a quick fun read with ingredients of humour, love and friendship added in the right proportions making the story a relishing experience. The large typesetting makes it easier for beginners or for those who are just transitioning from picture books to chapbooks.
P.S. Don’t miss out on the creativity of the author come out even in the acknowledgements at the end.
You can buy a copy of the book here.
Book Title: Pinkoo Shergill Pastry Chef
Author: Vibha Batra
Illustrator: Shamika Chaves
Publisher: Scholastic India
Age Group: 7+
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