'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 30 December 2020

Review: Pie in the Sky

Jingwen and Yanghao his nine-year-old brother, arrive in Australia with absolutely no knowledge of English. They start school right away. Their ever optimistic Mama who is familiar with the language, reassures them that they will learn quickly.

In his mind, Jingwen sees the Aussie kids as Martians; their speech just as alien. This keeps him from making friends. (He blames his mother for not getting a tutor to prepare him). 

At any other time, with more focus and less preoccupation, he might have managed to pick up basic English.

But, he is still grieving at the loss of his father just before their departure, and all the plans they’d mapped out together for their bakery, Pie in the Sky.

What tortures Jingwen the most is their last heated exchange.

He believes that if he can bake his way through his father’s cake recipes, he will honour him, and his harsh words will be forgiven.

How can this be done with Mama’s cardinal rule of no using the oven while she is away?

Having to mind the pesky Yanghao while Mama works, Jingwen inculcates him into his scheme. Using pocket money to purchase the ingredients, Jingwen begins to bake his way to forgiveness.

Remy Lai starts the book by taking the mickey out of many views and habits her characters have. This creates a light-hearted tone as it moves into a more serious but always humorous one.

A mixture of graphic novel and illustrated middle grade novel, the images add to the hilarity of many situations that the brothers get into through the quest they’ve set themselves.

Well-written and highly entertaining throughout, it follows Fly On the Wall, also full of jokes and funny stuff that will keep a smile on the reader’s face.

Title: Pie in the Sky
Author/Illustrator: Remy Lai
Publisher: Walker Books, $ 19.99
Publication Date: 2 September 2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760653156
For ages: 9+
Type: Middle Grade Fiction