Scratch and Patch

Angela Bueti Author

Stu Reid Illustrator

Joshua Books

ISBN 9780980723359

Angela Bueti’s WOW story got going in 2008 when her oldest son started school. Though he adored books and loved being read to, his response was less than enthusiastic when he was given a school reader… in effect he decided that reading wasn’t for him.

There was a battle night by night as Bueti, trying to stay positive and keep the boy’s spirits high, attempted to interest him in the readers. But he was more interested in the ‘real’ book that they got to read afterwards than what was on offer in the school texts.

Wondering: “Where were all the good books for young boys learning to read? Where were the books on topics that boys love – like fast cars, rockets and dangerous adventures? Where were the books with gross humour? Where were the books with the cool characters? Where were the exciting books, for goodness sakes?” She went searching for answers… finding none she decided to write her own.

The result is and a set of three little books featuring the adventures of Scratch and Patch, a pair of rascally creatures who like nothing better than an exciting adventure. 

Though they are well-structured readers, the books don’t look anything like hard work… they’re fun for little boys to read and fun to look at too. 

Simple sentences using high frequency words are supported by colourful graphics that the early reader can use as picture cues to assist with new sentence structure and meaning. They adhere to strict criteria and are graded into recommended reading levels.

For parents, grandparents and teachers, the inside front covers of Riding around, Fishing and surfing and Going out list the words and grammar marks that are used in the book and there’s a useful list of reading tips. The last page repeats the words used, and on the outside back cover Scratch and Patch conclude with: “Shh! Don’t tell them… It’s a reader.”

Scratch and Patch are soon to be joined by Jimmy Ka-Chow.


Barb Ady

One Bowl Allergy Free Baking

Linda Bosnic 

Wakefield Press


RR $19.95

Medics and public health administrators are at a loss to explain why, but the fact is that the number of Australian children suffering from a food allergy keeps growing. Approximately 5 per cent will develop a food allergy by school age. In turn, most primary schools have a strict non-sharing of foods policy in place; teaching staff supervise the playground with photos attached to a lanyard of children with know allergies … and Epi-pens at the ready.

Learning that a favourite nephew had been diagnosed with anaphylaxis to nuts, dairy and egg nearly 10 years ago motivated Linda Bosnic to start developing easy to prepare baked goods that contained none of the common allergenic substances. She has since created over 100 recipes, many with gluten-free options.

At home, parents can control what their children can or cannot eat but it’s not so easy at school where children with food allergies often can’t join in cooking sessions and can’t be allowed to sample the goodies.

This is where the author’s One Bowl Allergy Free Baking will come in handy. Her new book contains recipes for biscuits, cakes, slices and desserts that can be mixed in one bowl, without using an electric mixer, contain only standard pantry or fridge ingredients, and mostly take only 15 minutes to get ready for the oven.

Linda Bosnic starts from the premise that the would-be cook doesn’t know anything about the precautions that need to be taken before the cooking session commences. Wiping down the bench top with a clean sponge or cloth; avoiding wooden spoons and cutting boards; and remembering not to put your cup of tea with milk in it near the cookie dough may seem overly fussy. But when an extreme anaphylactic reaction can be triggered by the tiniest exposure, making sure that every precaution is taken correctly can be a life or death process.

She includes helpful baking tips including oven temperatures, measuring ingredients and how to prepare baking trays and tins. Gluten-free recipes are highlighted with a gluten-free icon and there’s useful list of artificial ingredients (and how to avoid them)   which the consumer will find in manufactured foods and can have adverse health effects. How about some Artificial Colour 160b (Annatto)? Or maybe Flavour Enhancer 620–625 glutamates MSG? Or perhaps one of the Nitrates used in cured and processed meats (there are four) and all prohibited for use in food for infants less than 12 months of age.

The 100-recipe list starts with coconut cake and ranges through chocolate hedgehog and golden oat slice to conclude with eight different sugar icings. Delicious.

One Bowl Allergy Free Baking will be a useful reference in the school kitchen and cooking class. It also deserves shelf space in the kitchen of any home where a family member has a food allergy. 

Barb Ady