MONFREID, Dorothée The Cake Gecko Press, 2014 unpaged NZ$19.99 pbk ISBN 9781927271445 SCIS 1665364; hdbk NZ$34.99 ISBN 9781877579455 SCIS 1666611
When tiger, dog, monkey, rabbit and teddy bear get together, they all declare that they are hungry. Tiger, who assumes leadership, suggests that they make a cake. What type of cake and who decides? One suggests a bone cake, another a carrot cake, one wants a fish cake and the other a banana cake. Well, tiger wants a chocolate cake but the ingredients disgust the others. Tiger is at a loss and doesn’t know what to do. The others all suggest a combination. The tiger is revolted at the very idea and insists, with a very loud roar, to have his way. He gets it, but not in the way he expected!
Using the graphic novel as format, the cartoon characters’ emotions are subtly portrayed. What will possibly create some discussion is the nature of the ending. Is it a case of the power of the majority when faced with a crisis or is it about the idea that revenge is okay and the book encourages this behaviour? Now there’s the beginning of a wild rumpus!
reviewed by John McKenzie