ALooking for opportunities to have a good time is a particularly beautiful form of self-deception. Arguments can quickly become hot air. If you want a piece of cake, you can explain by saying, “I was able to do something good today” or “I had a really bad day, I need it now.” In the end, all you want is cake.
In “Cake on Recipe” by Norwegian author Bjørn F. Rørvik, Ferkel does not reveal the secret of this technique. Piglet resists all the proposed treatments until Fuchs is finished with a cough that the doctor has allegedly diagnosed with Fuchs: “Then say the medicine you want.” Piglet wants lemon and chocolate kisses, and these treats are sure to be found by Lam. Fox turns out to be a plot partner: Piglet, covered in tiny red felt quills.
Fuchs gives her the recipe for sweets under the name “Doctor Girlander”. Lam is upset by the prescribed treatment, but her friend Leni knows Dr. Gerlander: “He uses completely new methods, nature and so on.” Well), surprisingly, he is already having attacks again.
The arrangement, which Piglet and Fox have to learn over the course of the book, is only useful as long as no one takes it too seriously. The cow and her friend Lenny fall for Piglet – and within hours he is known as “Dr. Gerland”. For many patients, he prescribes diluted booger or snail tea. Piglet’s attempts to eat the cake he brought him are futile – until he comes up with something.
This story and its dialogues, whose voice is instantly recognizable even when read silently, are very entertaining. The animal facial expressions in Claudia Weikert’s illustrations are so precise they don’t need words. At the same time, the story is a special warning: that we want to believe what we want to believe – especially when we are surprised by something wonderful. It shouldn’t even be about bogus treatments for bogus illnesses. They can also be fake treatments for diseases, or vice versa. Just because you think something will help has nothing to do with medical facts. As we thirst to explain, and often confuse correlation and causation because we run the risk of being too honest: these are not necessarily insights expressed in children’s books. Obviously, but without a clue, “Cake on Recipe” found a way to take it anyway.
Bjørn F. Rørvik, Claudia Weikert: “Fox and Piglet: Prescription Cake”.. Klett Children’s Book, Leipzig 2022. 48 p., hardcover, €16. From 6 years