Cupcake’s life is full: he runs a bakery, plays drums in a band, and enjoys city living with his best friend, Eggplant. Even so, Cupcake is in a bit of a creative slump, and he longs for—well, something more. Meanwhile, Eggplant is invited to visit Aunt Aubergine in Turkey, who happens to work with baking celebrity Turkish Delight. Eggplant wants Cupcake to come along. How can Cupcake raise the money to travel to Turkey and meet his idol? With a bake sale, of course! The two friends devise a plan to make their dream a reality. But life is full of twists and turns, leaving Cupcake to decide what matters most in it all.
Cupcake’s little adventures are set in a city inhabited by food items; readers need to suspend their belief enough to imagine a cupcake who bakes cupcakes, sells carrot cake to a tomato, afterwards is served French fries by a carrot at a diner, and has an eggplant for a best friend; but if they do (and most readers will), the story is a “piece of cake!” Pun intended!
This quirky but sweet graphic novel is chock full of charming details: the workings of a busy bakery business, big city landmarks, as well as tips and instructions for things like sugared flowers. A note to aspiring bakers: in back of the book is “Cupcake’s Repertoire,” recipes of several of the treats that are featured in the story. Of the 5 recipes I tried and shared with the Children’s staff, all were hits, especially the peppermint brownies! Throughout the story and the recipe section, artist Sara Varon contrasts whimsical characters with the detailed urban settings, all with cheery pastel colors that are good enough to eat. I would hold out for the brownies, though!
Recommended for Grades 3 and up.
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