Book review: I Really Want the Cake by Simon Philip and illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti.


I Really Want The Cake written by Simon Phillip is a giggly, scrumptious read that is filled with sketchy, fun, appealing illustrations by Lucia Gaggiotti.

This fantastic read was first published in the summer of 2017 and has recently been shortlisted for Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2018.

I quite enjoy a slice of chocolate cake. Team it up with a steaming hot cup of tea and I’m one happy lady, but the little girl in this story seems to have a larger appetite then me and the smell in her home is alerting all her senses.

There are no introductions to the name of the girl in this story, she begins a conversation with you instantly and she talks through her thoughts with fellow readers. Her senses have been tickled by a smell, hers and her pet dog, and she must investigate!


The familiar setting, a home, and the cool palette makes this such an inviting start to the book. The girls stunned facial expression and the floating stars representing the smell in question just urge you to turn the page and read on.

Much to her delight the smell is indeed that of a deliciously looking multi layered chocolate delight, but as much as she wants to enjoy this cake it’s not for her, in fact a note has been left that clearly states for it not to be touched.

Can she resist the temptation?

Well the short and sweet answer is, No! She attempts to distract herself but all fails and before you know it a lick of the cake has tuned into her demolishing the whole cake!

A young girl who has allowed young readers to listen to her thoughts has done wrong. She’s broken the rules and has all young readers guessing “What next?”

The girl knows she’s done wrong and she isn’t about to lie about what she’s done, nor is she going to try and conceal the evidence, she’s going to quite simply bake another cake because it’s not that tricky, is it?

Well, I admire the girl in realising that she had done wrong and her attempt in making things better by doing a spot of baking, or in this case baking and making a big mess. She was true to her word and did indeed make a cake, much to Little One’s (my 3 year old) amusement, a cake that was sitting on a frying pan.

Simon Phillip and Lucia Gaggiotti have done an amazing job, truly. My 1 year old is completely immersed in this story each time we read it. My 3 year old too, obviously more mature, finds the girls breaking of the rules gasp worthy but she is soon giggling again when she spots each time an aubergine on the cake preparation table.

Baby preparing to read.
My 1 year old preparing to read.

Filled with short, punchy rhyming text and playful pages experimenting with font size, this is a brilliant, giddy read aloud. The illustrations are comical and those facial expressions depict the girls feelings and thoughts so well. You’ll also be pleased to know that if you found the cake featured in the book drool worthy, there is a recipe at the end of the book. Perfect!


We loved this book and couldn’t refrain from joining in celebrating the books recent nomination for Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2018. #Ireallywantthecakeoff. Here is our bake with no aubergine in sight.

Thank you so much to Templar Publishing for sending us a copy of this cake-tastic read.

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