The Incredible Hotel


Stefan is a kitchen porter at The Incredible Hotel. He brews the 5 am coffee that starts the day running like clockwork. Yet Stefan dreams of making cakes. His head is full of whipped and fancied delights. However, how can a kitchen porter hope to rise to such a role as Chef Zagat?

When the particularly picky but wonderfully important Duchess of Delaunay plans a visit, the hotel swings into action. The best profiteroles are on the menu. Stefan imagines the method and construction, and dares to make a suggestion to Chef…

The Incredible Hotel is a glorious picture book. I love the elongated pictures, the rich setting, the considered construction, humour and drama. We can smell the caramel flavourings and hints of lemon polish. We can imagine the silent feet, and sparkling glass. We realise the layers of people who make this hotel so esteemed. Thereafter, we are party to the reality of these people, and invest in their experience, especially that of Stefan. The message of the story is subtle and clever. What a sumptuous picture book!


The Incredible Hotel

Kate Davies, Isabelle Follath

(First Editions)

The Incredible Hotel is in the ‘great city of Delaunay’ and a most ‘wonderful place to stay.‘ When Stefan brews the coffee at 5am it kickstarts a day that ‘runs like clockwork.‘ However, Stefan daydreams of making cakes. There is little chance that Stefan will be allowed to make cakes for he’s supposed to ‘mop and chop‘ and say ‘Yes, chef! even when he wants to say ‘No!‘ Stefan is destined to a life behind the excitement.
However, everything changes when Stefan offers an idea of his own imagining to Chef Zagat as the hotel prepares for a visit by the Duchess of Delaunay. Furthermore it means that Stefan loses his place within the hotel. Perhaps he’ll have more time for dreaming, making and imagining? Yet, what of the hotel, for who will start it’s day if Stefan is not there?
The storytelling and pictures remind me of Jan Fearnley’s wonderful Edgar and the Sausage Inspector. Thereafter, the subject matter and key character are similar to Freddie’s Amazing Bakery: The Great Raspberry Mix-Up. Yet, this is a really profiterole tasty, three-course meal, satisfying picture book. The messages of creativity and team work are subtle and wry. We know who makes this The Incredible Hotel. 


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