by Robert Tzannes
'Mr Rufus Skumskins O'Parsley
THE RASCALLY CAKE is a romp of a
book, in the tradition of Fungus the Bogeyman. Guaranteed to appeal to the most
reluctant of readers, it explores the unsavoury eating habits of Mr Rufus
Skumskins O'Parsley, who 'wouldn't eat supper unless it was ghastly'. His
horrible come-uppance arrives in the form of a man-eating cake, which is
wickedly portrayed in Korky Paul's animated artwork. Children will relish the
rhyming text, and will revel in the horrors of the anti-hero's kitchen.
There is nothing beautiful about THE RASCALLY CAKE. Mr Rufus Skumskins O'Parsley makes a cake from ingredients so disgusting that you will not want to read about them over breakfast. When it is cooked, the cake comes to life as a huge, smelly voracious monster, and chases him around the house. Korky Paul's pictures are energetic and funny. Some children will adore this book.
THE RASCALLY CAKE contains a cowpat, rotten eggs, spider's legs, blubber, bones and a tramp's sock, scabs from a school boy's knees, fingernail clippings, several snotty handkerchiefs and a jug of spit. All this might be bearable if the hero chef was likeable, but he is even more horrific than his ingredients. The cake comes alive and crawls out of its 'reeking dustbin' with skeletal bones protruding as limbs from its mass of shapeless jelly. An elephantine trunk grows and on its end is an open, red-lipped mouth with fangs.
TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT 2 DEC 94, Raymond Briggs
Rufus Skumskins O'Parsley doesn't eat anything unless it is truly horrible - fat black tadpoles squashed on toast, or pans of slugs in slimy stew.
But when Rufus decided to bake an extra-special cake, with more revolting ingredients than you can possible imagine, it's the cake that wants to eat HIM! THE RASCALLY CAKE is the very deserving winner of the 1995 Children's Book Award and Korky Paul's Picture Puffin debut.
YORKSHIRE EVENING POST 20 JULY 95, Robert Beaumont
Korky Paul's brilliantly witty and richly detailed illustrations are perfect for this truly revolting rhyming moral tale of gluttony and revenge.
THE HERALD WEEKENDER 26 AUG 95