Flour Babies Paperback – 7 Apr 1994
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About the Author
Anne Fine has written numerous highly acclaimed and prize-winning books for children and adults. The Tulip Touch won the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year Award; Goggle-Eyes won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal; Flour Babies won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year; and Bill’s New Frock won a Smarties Prize. Anne Fine was named Children’s Laureate in 2001 and was awarded an OBE in 2003.
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Flour Babies is about Simon Martin and his friends in 4C. They have a project of taking on the responsibility of a small sack of flour as part of a ‘Child Development’ project. The Flour Baby comes with many different rules and regulations! The aim of the project is to get the students to think about responsibility and parenthood. Our main protagonist Simon finds himself beginning to really care for his Flour Baby despite his initial reservations. Simon unexpectedly finds himself coming to terms with his own absent father.
The absent father element is something that I didn’t recall from my childhood readings of Flour Babies. Perhaps because my father was absent (due to being in the army) so much, I didn’t really see it as anything unusual. I really liked how Anne Fine didn’t shy away from the absent father in the story. So many children can relate to this!
The language in Flour Babies is a little dated for our modern day children, but I do think children would still get something out of this book.
The project starts to have a real affect on Simon. He starts to ask his mumabout his father. He has mixed feeling about his father because of the clues he is getting towards his fathers dissapearel. Nearing the end of this mystery Simon begins to realise that his mum has been really, really kind and loving to him. He has thought many things about Mr Cartwright aswell. Infact it waqs Mr Cartwright that gave him the last clue to the mystery Simon has being putting together. At the end Simon realisesthat he has been really selfish nagging about having to take the Flour Baby everywhere. his mum had to carry a REAL baby around with her when he was young. Mr Cartwright ,after 3 weeks had had enough of the Flour Babies and he threw them 1 by 1 in the bin(after the weigh in).Simon hpowever catches his and puts it in his desk. Simon also collects all the Flour babies and takes the around with him. In amoungst all the detensions he is getting he has a glourious explosion for himself.
I particually liked the idea of them thinking they are going to have a glourious explosion and then nearing the end they find out that they aren't. I like this bit because they have made you read on thinking that there is going to be a really intresting bit at the end which makes you want to keep reading.
I think that 9,10 and 11 year olds would get the most out of this book because they would get alot of insperational ideas from this and would widen there voab.
By Kate Eustace and Julia Smith
Featherstone High School.
Simon Martin is the main character in the book. He is a member of 4C. He is the only one that really likes his flour baby. Simon lives alone with his mum. At the beginning of the book Simon does not appreciate his mum. In particular when his mum refuses to look after his flour baby while he is at football
practice. but towards the end of the book he starts to realise how hard it must have been for his mum looking after him all by herself.
Because of having to look after the flour baby , Simon begins to wonder about his own father, who, left when Simon was still a baby. Simon has a lot of questions for his mum. was it his fault that his dad left? What circumstances did hisdadleave in? Simon also becomes more mature and starts to appreciate his teachers.
I enjoy the book because of the way we look ino Simon's memories.I think everyone between the ages of 9 and 12.
The novel has a number of important morals, including don't give teachers a hard time and that sometimes things happen for no reason.
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