Sally Murphy (text), Celeste Hulme (illus) Sage Cookson’s Singapore Sensation (Sage Cookson #4) New Frontier, 1 May 2017, 56pp., $9.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781925059960
In Book Four of the Sage Cookson series, the titular character and her TV chef parents head off to Singapore for a holiday. Sage is looking forward to exploring the sights and tastes of Singapore with her foodie parents. While they’re on the plane, Sage’s mum is having one final read through of her cookbook manuscript before giving her publisher the go-ahead. And, of course, at the airport the manuscript goes missing.
Sage, who has proved herself a sleuth in the previous books, is alert to a strange woman with distinctive pink hair who she suspects may have stolen the manuscript. The woman turns out to be a slightly misguided Cookson fan who does indeed have the manuscript which she returns.
A highlight of this series is the focus on food. In Singapore, Sage and her parents indulge in
‘little skewers of lamb, chicken and prawn, covered in spicy sauce’
‘prata breads – golden doughy discs that soak up the spicy sauces’.
The series is aimed at children 7-plus and, with short chapters and sentences, would be an easy read for most in this age group. Each chapter is headed by a simple line drawing.
There is a recipe for Easy Chicken Satay in the back of the book and the series has a website with other recipes and activities.
Reviewed by Heather Gallagher