Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Cupcake Cousins

Today I get to celebrate a book birthday.  What is a book birthday you ask?  Well it is the first day a book is available for purchase - a monumental occasion in any book's life - just ask them.

The book I received was from NetGalley, a service where bloggers can request books for review.  It was provided free of charge, with no expectation of a positive review (but I did really like it!)  I am trying this service on a limited basis in an effort to get new titles reviewed and out to my reader's more quickly.   I will continue to experiment with using the service, and I will always let you know when I receive a book this way.  However, if I ever feel that it compromises my ability to deliver an impartial review I will cease and desist.

Don't forget to Like One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +  You certainly wouldn't want to miss another book birthday.  There are really never enough reasons to celebrate!

Title:       Cupcake Cousins

Author:   Kate Hannigan

Target:    Grades 2-5

Series:     Not at this point, but I could see more adventures for Willow and Delia

What this book is about: 
Cousins Willow and Delia meet up every year at a summer beach house on Lake Michigan.  This year there is added excitement because their Aunt Rose is getting married at the house.  The cousins have been assigned the task of flower girls.  Now, they feel that as fourth graders, they may be a bit too old to be flower girls and don’t get them started on the bright bubble gum pink dresses they will have to wear.  

In an effort to get their Aunt Rose to see them as more mature and assign them a new wedding task, they take on the challenge of trying to get her to let them bake cupcakes for the wedding.  However, their kitchen exploits turn out less than stellar and may even set them back in their pursuit.

Why I love this book:  
First off, I love the cousin relationship between Willow and Delia. There is just something special about a friendship with cousins - like a sister only better.  Their relationship felt quite real and just like the times I get together with my cousins.  

I also loved that Delia comes from a mixed race family and it is not an issue in the slightest.  My daughter is surrounded in school and home by a mix of ethnicities and it is nice to see that reflected in the books she reads.  I appreciate that Hannigan colored the landscape.

My favorite part of the book, however, was that it felt like fun innocence without being old fashioned or stuffy.  These girls are real fourth graders - they have adventures, make mistakes and act silly, just like my daughter.

If I have on criticism of the book, it is more a missed opportunity.  There are plenty of cupcake books with girls baking their hearts out (and strangely these cousins never do bake cupcakes).  Books with recipes included are a dime a dozen and the name and format of this book will put is solidly in the camp with those myriad of books.  However, in this book each girl (and boy) is named after a flower. (Did you notice - Rose, Delia, Willow)  It would have been quite fun to have explanations on the  characteristics of each flower name between chapters, as opposed to more recipes   A different angle to set this book apart because it really is a delightful read.

Who this book is for:  
This book reminded me quite a bit of Lulu and the Dog from the Sea, which was a Cybils finalist.  Perhaps it was the family vacation at the beach, cousins together with a lovable dog and the innocence of the story.  They are not identical, but do have a similar vibe.  I also was reminded of The Penderwicks in tone, and when I read the author’s web page, it proved to be one of her influences, which did not surprise me in the slightest.  If your child liked either of these two books, this one will be a hit.

The book is an early chapter book for those kids who are starting to become more confident chapter book readers.  This is not for kids just starting chapter books.

Final thoughts:
This book will ensure kids have lovely adventures to read about that simply make them smile and giggle.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Cupcake Cousins  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

No comments:

Post a Comment