I thought this book was about 60–70% good. There were some super cool NZ ideas in there, but then there were some pretty poor efforts. It looks like he had a number of ideas he had to produce, and ran out of ideas so submitted some average ones. For example, the traditional number cakes (like, number 8 for an eight year old) were NZ themed only because they had NZ lollies like pineapple lumps or milk bottles on them. A bit lazy Rob! But the good ones are great. The sheep on the front cover is my favourite, he also does a kiwi face, kiwifruit, NZ stamp, all sorts. They're pretty impressive, I'm glad I bought it.
Couldn't agree LESS with Stephanie's review. I assume when she says ‘read-roll icing’ she means fondant. Fondant is a commonly used icing, used to get the kind of result regular buttercream could not. You certainly CAN make it yourself if you want to, but the commonly sold type in NZ (pettinice) is known worldwide as being very high quality. So most people don't bother making their own, it's very cheap to buy (less than six bucks a pack at countdown, which will cover a cake with leftovers) and you get a guaranteed great result. There's no way you can get such professional looking character cakes without it. Besides, loads of the cakes have what he refers to as soft icing (buttercream), or a mixture of both. Sorry Stephanie, but your view was a bit odd… I think you'll find pro novelty cake decorators use fondant a great deal. If you're worried about stifling your culinary creativity, then copying someone elses ideas would be a bit strange anyway…?