Friday, July 15, 2011

Review of Bake Sale by Sara Varon

Varon, Sara.  Bake Sale.  First Second, 2011.

You know those moods you have sometimes, when you feel so fragile and vulnerable that your psyche can be bruised by the tiniest suspicion of criticism?  When every new day, hour, and minute just seems like another opportunity to fail?

I don't know of any antidote, but you can alleviate the symptoms for a while with a graphic novel like Bake Sale.

Cupcake owns a bakery, where he creates scrumptious, award-winning desserts.  When he's not at work, he plays the drums in a band and hangs out with his best friend Eggplant.

But when Eggplant invites Cupcake to come with him to Turkey, where Eggplant's aunt lives, Cupcake's life is turned upside down.  You see, Eggplant's aunt knows Turkish Delight, a renowned pastry chef - and Cupcake worships Turkish Delight.

To earn the money for the ticket, Cupcake throws himself into a frenzy of baking, making goodies for all kinds of special events.  And in the process, he loses sight just a little of the good things about his life - his band and his best friend.  But Cupcake is imminently sensible, if romantic - and has his priorities in order by the end of the book.

Why do I love this book?
  • Varon's (Robot Dreams) charismatic food characters have skinny arms, big eyes, and ready smiles.
  • The little details in her drawings are strangely absorbing and intensely soothing
  • Swamped as I sometimes feel by the pressures and stresses of work and family, Cupcake's life is immensely appealing in its simplicity
  • The message - do what you enjoy, enjoy what you do, and cherish your friends - is a worthy one, and expressed in the sweetest possible way.
Recommended for ages 10 to 99.

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