Flight Four: India

The weather here in the UK is freezing cold at the moment, so I’m letting myself think about things further afield and taking a trip with the Ladybird Travel Adventure series to India. I originally came across series 587 when I found Book Three which takes the reader to the USA, and since then I’ve also managed to add Flight Two: Canada to my collection. Flight Four: India jumped out at me from a charity shop shelf recently and I was delighted to pick it up and add to my Ladybird travel collection.

Ladybird Flight Four India

Originally published in 1960, Flight Four sees Alison and John again accompany their father on a business trip, but this time to India. Their father has business in Bombay to start with, so that is where they head on a luxurious Air India flight, stopping in Rome on their way. Once again there is no mention in the book of Alison and John’s mother, or any other family members that they might be leaving back home.

Ladybird Flight Four India

Not only do Alison and John start to experience Indian hospitality on the Air India flight over, but they are also charmed to be welcomed at the airport by the Chand family (Mr Rand Chand being a business contact of their father’s) who greet them with traditional garlands of flowers which their father placed around their necks.

They spend a week in Bombay where they stay with the Chand family and in this time were shown around the city as well as the surrounding countryside. They also became familiar with the size of India and the feel of the country. Once their week in Bombay was up they bid farewell to the Chand family and boarded a second flight to the smaller city of Aurangabad where their father has some time sightseeing with them. They then take the train to their father’s next place of business – Agra. However, it is obvious that the children and their father are travelling in luxury on this business trip as it’s not a traditional hot and dusty Indian train, but instead a sleek new one with air conditioned carriages and a separate dining car.

Ladybird Flight Four India

As well as Agra’s old fort Alison and John were also taken to see the Taj Mahal, before heading on to the Indian capital Dehli, where they father had to spend another week on business. This isn’t the end of their trip though as Dehli is followed by Jaipur, Chandigarh, Kashmir and the Himalayas, Benares, Darjeeling, the Ganges, Jorhat, Calcutta, Madras and Trivandrum. At one point the children ask their father to draw a map of India showing all the places that they have been to, and when he does so you realise just how much of the country they have covered. They were exposed to a huge amount of Indian culture and as well as visiting historic sights also got to see everything from tigers and elephants through to tea plantations.

Like in Book Three, the journey felt a little bit contrived. Whilst I fully appreciate how much Alison and John must have learnt whilst on their travels with their father, I am also left wondering just how realistic a trip like this would have been. Would a father have taken his two children on such a long business trip with him back in 1960? Was this because their mother was no longer on the scene for some reason, or was she left at home with other children? Maybe I need to go away and do some more reading up on Alison and John and just why they travelled so much with their father.

If you want to read about other books in my Ladybird collection then please make yourself a cuppa and head over here.

This post originally appeared on Ladybird Tuesday on Being Mrs C.

Great Bunny Bakes – Ellie Snowdon

Great Bunny Bakes

With the current celebrity version of the Great British Bake Off (The Great Celebrity Bake Off) hitting our screens it’s made me realise that despite the programme’s move to Channel 4 and the loss of Mary Berry, the tent based baking competition doesn’t seem to have lost any of its magic. Kids also seem to completely love the show (even if some of the innuendo does go right over their heads!) and so Ellie Snowdon’s new book Great Bunny Bakes really captured my children’s imaginations.

Quentin is a wolf who fancies himself a a bit of a Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood mix. He loves baking! For some reason that he can’t quite fathom, he’s been sent an invitation to the Great Bunny Baking competition. He’s desperate to take part, but there’s a slight problem when you’re a wolf and you want to enter a Bunny Baking competition…

But any problem can be overcome with a bit of imagination. Oh, and some fancy dress!

Disguised as a bunny, Quentin he starts to win over the competition judges with his perfect loaf, trifle and honey bunny tower. But when it comes to the pastry round things start to go wrong. It turns out that one of the other competitors isn’t a cute bunny after all, and he’s swapped Quentin’s sugar for salt (something we’ve seen happen all too often on the bake off, although there it seems to be due to competitors just picking up the wrong glass jar!)

As if the sugar/salt mix up wasn’t enough, as Quentin goes to carry his chocolate cake to the judging table disaster strikes and he drops it!

All is not lost though as it turns out that the other bunnies are more than happy to come together and help their fellow baker in his hour of need.

Great Bunny Bakes is a lovely book for any child who enjoys baking and who has maybe enjoyed the Bake Off, or Junior Bake Off, on television. We were lucky enough to be sent a review copy along with a beautiful recipe card and some cookie cutters. Master C was delighted to see these and has specifically asked if he can do some “biscuit making” with me the next weekend we have together.

Great Bunny Bakes

He thoroughly enjoyed the book and loved the baking creations in the accompanying illustrations. They are beautiful busy pictures, with lots of details for children to pick out when you read the story to them. I am slightly worried that Master C might think my baking ability is up to making a honey bun tower like that pictured, but hopefully he’ll be impressed enough with the biscuits that I think I can manage!

Great Bunny Bakes by Ellie Snowdon is published by Simon & Schuster on 8 March 2018. Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4711-4567-4 £12.99 Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4711-6635-8 £.6.99

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Great Bunny Bakes for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.