Pie in the Sky

Remy Lai

Pie in the Sky
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Pie in the Sky

Remy Lai

Finalist for the Readings Children’s Book Prize 2020


When Jingwen moves to Australia, he feels like he’s landed on Mars. Making friends is impossible, since he doesn’t speak English, and he’s stuck looking after his little brother Yanghao. But Jingwen knows how to make everything better. If he can just make all of the cakes on the menu of the bakery his father had planned to open-and complete the dream he didn’t have time to finish-then everything will be okay. 


Sure, he’ll have to break his mother’s most important rule about not using the oven when she’s at work, keep his little brother from spilling his secret, and brush up on his baking skills, but some things are worth the risk.


In her debut novel, Remy Lai captures with humour and heart, what it means to want desperately to belong and just how powerful one wish can be.

Review

Jingwen, his mother and his pesky little brother, Yanghao, have just moved to Australia. It’s not easy starting a new life in a new country and Jingwen feels like an alien. This book is part novel and part comic with indecipherable symbols used cleverly to represent English words that Jingwen doesn’t yet understand. Jingwen finds comfort in cakes and the boys really miss their dad, who had dreams of starting his own fancy cake shop.

While their mum is at work they secretly start to bake all of the epic cakes that their dad had planned to sell in his shop, even though Mum has told them not to use the oven. Yanghao is cheeky but their sibling relationship is charming and this book is as funny as it is moving. Their passion for cakes is truly endearing. Thankfully there’s a recipe for rainbow cake included at the end because young bakers will be inspired and all readers will be left craving a big, delicious slice. Looking at immigration, family and grief, this is an exceptionally sweet book, featuring exceptional sweets.

Highly recommended for ages 9+.


Kim Gruschow is the children’s book buyer at Readings St Kilda.

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