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The Incredible Hotel

The Incredible Hotel

Kate Davies, illus Isabelle Follath
Frances Lincoln Childrens Books
ISBN: 9781786031969

A wonderful tale about always following your dreams and believing in yourself, no matter what.

Stefan the porter wakes up at 5am every day to wake up everyone else in order to begin the day working in 'The Incredible Hotel'. Stefan dreams of baking cakes, but he isn't allowed to bake as his job is to run around fetching, carrying and completing the errands all in the quiet of the shadows. No-one seems to notice poor Stefan as he fetches and carries, mops and peels potatoes, all the while dreaming of baking cakes.

But one day, a prestigious guest is expected who demands 'the tallest profiterole tower in history'. When the Chef of the Hotel begins to panic about creating the profiterole tower, Stefan offers some advice, only to be told, 'You're just a kitchen porter' and is commanded to leave. To prove that he can do it, Stefan goes home and creates his own profiterole tower. But on the morning of the prestigious guest's arrival, Stefan isn't there to begin the daily routine and everything begins to go wrong. With the kitchen burned down, The Incredible Hotel smelling of fire and no profiterole tower, the Hotel panics when the guest arrives. However, Stefan saves the day and earns himself a promotion as the new pastry chef and the respect of all the staff in The Incredible Hotel.

This is a heart-warming story that has a strong message of never giving up. My children discussed with me the resilience and kindness of Stefan when he turned up to help at the Hotel, despite being shouted at and told to never come back. Stefan is a hardworking character and his beliefs in his ability enable him to follow his dreams and keep trying. The message was clear and one that my four and six year old understood clearly.

One thing my daughter particularly enjoyed was turning the page and discovering the great profiterole tower that Stefan creates, it looks absolutely delightfully delicious; this page will certainly get your mouth watering.

With clear and colourful illustrations, this is a picture book that will stand out in your classroom or bookshelf. A lovely, thoughtful story with lots of talking points, although it did make me feel hungry by the time I had finished reading it!

Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Joanna Hewish, teacher


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