Giselle Clarkson, Alexandra Tylee, and David Hedley stand in front of the Pipi Pizza Truck and its culinary crew. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

ARTHUR HAWKES
arthur.hawkes@age.co.nz

Yarns in Barns, the Wairarapa Festival of Reading, continued on Monday with a signing of Egg and Spoon, the new cooking book for children by author and chef Alexandra Tylee and illustrator Giselle Clarkson.

Tylee is the owner and chef at Pipi Cafe – the iconic small, pink cafe and cottage garden [with its own mobile pizza truck, pictured] based in Havelock North.

The event also included an illustration workshop with Clarkson and a pizza party, which was provided by Pipi Cafe’s pizza van.

The event, held at Masterton District Library, went down a storm with children and parents alike.

Anna Hedley, co-owner of Hedley Books, one of the festival organisers, described a joyous gathering.

“It was such a fun event. When buying his book, one little boy came up to me and gave me a big hug and said he was having the best day – and loved Giselle who took the illustration workshop.

“They all learnt to draw pizzas! It was very sweet.”

Tylee, under the Pipi name, has published a couple of cookbooks over the past few years, but this was the first aimed at children, published through Gecko Press.

Egg and Spoon is described as being for children learning to cook independently, and families to enjoy cooking together. Much of the food is also naturally gluten-free or vegan.

Clarkson is a freelance illustrator — she’s worked on The Gobbledegook Book with Joy Cowley, The Secret World of Butterflies with Courtney Sina Meredith, and has illustrated for many news organisations and private clients.

Her illustrations bring Tylee’s dishes to life through playful, jubilant graphics.

The decision to use drawings rather than images of the food speaks to the childlike bent of the book, which encourages its young chefs to use their imagination, and to create food without an idealised model in mind.

The publisher, Gecko Press, stated that Egg and Spoon “celebrates eating together and taking pleasure in small things – hot chocolate in a special cup, foraged food, a boiled egg slipped into a pocket for later”.

“Tylee trusts children to choose flavours and handle equipment in this joyful book that will set them on a lifetime love of healthy cooking and eating.”

Egg and Spoon is available online, and through Hedley Books, Masterton.

  • For more on Yarns in Barns events check out yarnsinbarns.co.nz


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