The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

THEAus­tralian­Women’sWeekly Kids’Per­fec­tPar­tyBook (ACP Books, $29.95) is a com­pen­dium of ‘‘ 10 fab­u­lous par­ties for boys and girls from two to 10’’. Its cover, in a grisly shade of mauve with yel­low, should not dis­cour­age: inside, the colours im­prove. At least from the chil­dren’s point of view.

There’s a green and black-themed ghosts and spooks party, with ad­vice on ta­ble dec­o­ra­tions (can­de­labra, spi­ders, mice), how to make a black spi­der’s-web in­vi­ta­tion, dress-ups, ac­tiv­i­ties and, of course, the food. The cake is a piece de re­sis­tance (spooky rasp­berry ice cream cake), and there are grue­some eye­balls, ghostly bis­cuits, green jelly and bags of black lol­lies.

There are whole party plans for themes such as jun­gle, fairy, wiz­ards and witches, glam­our and glitz, by the sea and more. The fi­nal coup is tucked inside the back cover: a liftout sheet with tem­plates to cut out for all the starfish and lizards’ tongues you could pos­si­bly need. DONNAHayMagazineAn­nual4, 2007 (News Mag­a­zines, $7.95) is a chil­dren’s party-time spe­cial, equally de­signed for the grown-ups with its care­fully styled food shots. The gar­den party has lit­tle girls dressed in their mum’s choice best, sit­ting po­litely around the ta­ble or bear­ing gifts. The cakes are truly gor­geous (es­pe­cially the teapot cake and the gi­ant cup­cake), as are the straw­berry mousse milk­shakes. And there are prac­ti­cal guides to proper ic­ing and dec­o­rat­ing. This is a mag­a­zine of recipes but its full-page colour pho­to­graphs trig­ger lots of ideas, in­clud­ing how to stage a suc­cess­ful back­yard fam­ily camp-out. Ju­dith Elen

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