Incr-edible International Literacy Day-inspired Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam! - Nosy Crow Skip to content
Posted by Steven, September 8, 2017

Incr-edible International Literacy Day-inspired Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam!

Today’s guest blog post is by Steven Lenton, illustrator of the Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam series of picture books and illustrated fiction.

September the 8th is International Literacy Day, a day which aims to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies all around the world, so a very important day indeed.

There are lots of events and projects taking place in conjunction with #InternationalLiteracyDay and I was really pleased when my Uni pal, Janette McPherson, got in touch earlier this year about her group of international professional cake artists who were planning something special for this day.

The bakers hold an annual themed Cake-a-thon where they choose a theme and cake artists from around the world design and make incredible cakes. This year they chose well-loved storybooks by their favourite authors and illustrators, bringing the characters to life in cake form!

I was paws-itively thrilled when Janette told me that she had chosen Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam as her story. Her children are huge Shifty and Sam fans and as they are baker dogs who (now!) love nothing more than baking cakes (and solving mysteries!), what a fitting choice. Tracey Corderoy and I are huge fans and love baking ourselves and are even enjoying the new series of The Great British Bake Off – oh go on its not that bad!

Also, Nosy Crow is THE go-to publisher for all things cake, in meetings, at parties, even just on your average week day, the Nosy Crow nest is a veritable picnic basket of baked delights, so for Shifty and Sam to be made into sponge, well what a treat…and here they are!





I do not know how Janette has created such faithful recreations of not only the characters but also the poses and props from the books – just how is Shifty holding up such a huge cake?!


Here is Janette with Shifty and Sam (and can you find spider?).  Shifty measures a whopping 26 inches tall!  The attention to detail is just phenomenal and the, ahem, icing on the cake, each character is made of a rich chocolate cake filled with STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKE butter cream! Shifty and Sam would just LOVE these creations and Tracey and I certainly do – we just wish Janette wasn’t up in the far reaches of Scotland else we would be insisting on sampling a slice – but where would we start?! We couldn’t possibly EAT them…..could we Tracey?!

Other creations include characters from:


Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak


You Can’t Eat A Princess! by Gillian Rogerson and Sarah McIntyre


Dirty Bertie by David Roberts


Oi Frog! by Jim Field and Kes Gray

A huge thank you to Janette and all the cake artists involved for choosing our characters and for inspiring and encouraging children to pick up and read a storybook.

The group are also raising funds for Motor Neurone Disease, with Nosy Crow and other publishers donating books for this cause.  For more information on this and to see all the other wonderful cakes visit or



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