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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Nina's Amazing Gift!
by Maja Lunde
Age Range: 6-8
Nina misses her best friend Choco so much when he moves far away to the other side of the world. She believes that life will never be the same again, but then a mysterious envelope arrives from Choco. Nina is so excited to receive a letter, (even though she knows Choco's not very good at writing), but all that's inside are five brown beans – "what kind of gift is that?" she thinks. Not knowing quite what to do with the beans she puts them in her pocket and carries them around everywhere with her.
As Nina watches the cooking competition taking place in her village between two chefs Raymond and Nigella, who both aim to cook something incredible and new that no one has ever tasted before, she suddenly has a brainwave.
This charming early reader book, (part of the new Buzzy Reads series), is a witty and original story by Norwegian author Maja Linde. The delightful comic-style illustrations by Hans Jorgen Sandnes are rather unusual in that the original artwork was painted with real chocolate!
There are some lovely touches in the story, particularly during the cooking competition as the chefs try to outdo each other with their culinary masterpieces which will be ones that many children will be familiar as well as and Nina’s surprise ‘invention’!
At the back of the book, Linde explains how Sandnes tried many different types of chocolate paint recipes before finding the perfect combination of milk chocolate mixed with hot water. There is also Nina's Easy-Peasy Chocolate Brownies recipe and a true facts spread.