It’s my stop on the blog tour for The Viking Who Liked Icing by Lu Fraser and Mark McKinley and I’m delighted to have a guest post from Lu about her favourite spreads in the book.
Nut isn’t like his sister and the other Vikings. His skills don’t lie with a sword… but a whisk!
Now, my daughter fell in love with Gertie from The Littlest Yak, written by Lu and illustrated by Kate Hindley (see my review). So, you can imagine how excited she was when I told her that not only did we have another book written by Lu to read, but that the topic was… baking cakes! She loves to bake and straight away she was captivated by Mark’s wonderfully energetic illustrations of Nut. She particularly loved the spread where Nut is slicing and dicing and mixing and whisking the cakes – Lu’s rhyme is exceptional throughout the book and rolls of the tongue.
Reading The Viking Who Liked Icing over the past couple of weeks felt like perfect timing as we have been watching the Olympics and this book is set around Viking Sports Day. It just so happens that Viking Sports Day is the day of the year Nut dreads the most out of the whole Viking year! As the events get underway, it’s safe to say that sports are not Nut’s thing. But maybe, just maybe, with the help of a calamity or two, Nut will discover what really matters.
The Viking Who Liked Icing is delicious inside and out – perfect rhyme, vibrant illustrations and the gorgeous message at the end is truly the icing on the cake!
Before we dive into Lu’s favourite spreads, I have to mention this awesome activity pack Bloomsbury have created – perfect to keep the little ones entertained over the summer holidays!
Lu Fraser: My Top Three spreads from The Viking Who Liked Icing
‘All day and all night, Nut did nothing but dream…’
This single page spread was one of the first pieces of artwork completed and signed off in The Viking Who Liked Icing and I think we barely changed it at all – Mark had got it spot on, first time! It’s also the first night-time scene in the book and there is a wonderful softness about it (and I love the Viking helmet being used as a mixing bowl!). Anybody who spends time with toddlers will also recognise that moment of exhaustion when they just cannot stay awake any longer! It’s a big favourite with the team at Bloomsbury, too, and I think it’s one of Mark’s favourites, as well!
Whooooosh! Went the cake…
I do love a double-page spread and we have NINE of them in this book so it’s no surprise that two of my top three spreads are double-page wonders by Mark! This particular one is absolutely brilliant – I love the perspective and the layout of the spread so much, with the cake front and centre and the crowd of horrified Viking faces stretching across the page! You can actually feel the gasp and the intake of breath as the cake wooshes through the air! I also think the text and art work really well together here and the colour palette is really striking.
Splat went the cake…
Of all the pages in the book this double-page illustration by Mark is, hands down, my absolute favourite. When I wrote the text, Chief Olaf was a supporting character but, in Mark’s hands, Olaf has completely stolen the show for me! I love him! The magnitude and the boldness of Olaf here is fantastic and the expression on his face is priceless! I’d have a poster of this on my wall if I could!
Thank you so much, Lu, for sharing your favourite spreads – they are divine!
The Viking Who Liked Icing is published by Bloomsbury, 5 August 2021
Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour!
I am very grateful to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. This voluntary feature contains my honest opinion.