When I was a little girl, I had a friend named Kelly. Kelly lived in a small town just near Yackandandah and some weekends our dads would play live music together while we ran around her huge yard pretending to be dancers or fairies or discoverers. Her huge backyard was the best place for a tiny explorer, the garden filled with nooks and crannies; teapots with plants creeping out of them and a kooky concrete boot.
Zoom forward 25 years and here I am reading THIS stunning book titled Cupcake created by Kelly’s creative mum Heather Mullen.
It’s a breath of fresh air against the stories I’ve been reading Alfie of late, but all the essential ingredients are still there: the digger, the lighthouse, the treasure map, the boat, the plane, the thunderstorm and the dragon.
What I adore about this book is that it’s not made specifically for just a boy or just a girl, it’s made for a kid with an imagination (and maybe a parent too).
Cupcake the cheeky dragon loves his home and shares his favourite places with the reader. After a thrilling thunderstorm Cupcake wakes to find his home has changed from being nature’s paradise to a bustling city. He tries to find his way back to the places he loves – the sand, the surf, the mountain, the water but the new city-dwellers keep shouting at him for being too hot! He goes back to his snug cave and another thunderstorm kicks in for days. The city-dwellers want him to come back so he can stop the storm and he does. Everyone is happy and Cupcake learns to control his temperature.
What I loved about this story was that Alfie had so many questions. The book allows for many interpretations but for me I saw a strong environmental message. Perhaps it was the delightful questions Alfie was asking such as “Does being hot make the ground sad?” or “Can I be a dragon so I can save cities?” that made us read this book over and over again.
Whether or not the climate message rings true to you throughout this story, what both myself and Alfie adore are the wonderful illustrations by Heather which might take you back to your own childhood filled with imaginative journeys through mysterious backyards, discovering tiny Cupcake dragons hidden within flowerpots made of clay.
Heather is launching her new book Cupcake this weekend in Yackandandah at the delightful Yack Station where you can also discover some of the incredible crafts Heather creates.
More info can be found here. Discover Heather and Yackandandah, it’s good for your soul.