New and Fabulous
Bake Sale by Sarah Varon is a warm fuzzy of a baking book. It tells the story of Cupcake who loves to bake – so much so that he owns his very own bakeshop. Life is good. He bakes. He plays in a band. He has great friends. Then Cupcake’s best friend invites him on a trip to Turkey where Cupcake will be able to meet his hero, the incomparable pastry chef, Turkish Delight. Sounds great. But Cupcake needs money to pay for the trip. And he goes a little off track as he gives up all the things he loves to raise the dough. Until….well, you will have to read the book to find out what happens. The illustrations are simple but really adorable – the characters’ expressive eyes are emotionally irresistible. The frosting on the cupcake? Delicious recipes, of course! For 3rd grade and up.
Oldie but Goodie
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond has become a classic. This book is not really about baking but the cookie illustration never fails to give me the urge to down a melty chocolate chip number with a cold glass of milk. The concept is the old “one thing leads to another” in ways never intended. Here, a boy offers a cookie to what turns out to be a very demanding mouse. The chain of mouse requests reminds me of a set of toppling dominoes – you start with one and you get an unstoppable ripple. Great for the little ones— pegged for preschool – 3rd grade – I think you can start with toddlers who will love the repetition. I suspect it reminds them of one of their own favorite mantras: “No… No… No!”