Bake Sale

( 1 )

Overview

Cupcake’s life is pretty good. He’s got his bakery, and his band, and his best friend, Eggplant. His days are full of cooking, socializing, and playing music. But lately, Cupcake has been struggling in the kitchen. He’s sure the solution to all his problems is out there somewhere. But maybe that solution is hiding closer to home.

Sara Varon returns with an ageless tale as dreamy and evocative as her break-out hit graphic novel Robot Dreams. At once deeply metaphorical and ...

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Overview

Cupcake’s life is pretty good. He’s got his bakery, and his band, and his best friend, Eggplant. His days are full of cooking, socializing, and playing music. But lately, Cupcake has been struggling in the kitchen. He’s sure the solution to all his problems is out there somewhere. But maybe that solution is hiding closer to home.

Sara Varon returns with an ageless tale as dreamy and evocative as her break-out hit graphic novel Robot Dreams. At once deeply metaphorical and hilariously literal, Bake Sale is a story for anyone who’s ever looked for an easy answer to life’s intractable difficulties. It’s also a cookbook: Varon includes seven delicious recipes, from classic cupcakes to sugared flower petals to marzipan.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a world of anthropomorphized food, Cupcake is a pink cupcake who runs his own bakery and idolizes the culinary work of Turkish Delight, a famous foreign chef. Cupcake's best friend, Eggplant, has a way for Cupcake to meet his idol, but first Cupcake must spend extra time earning enough money for the plane trip to Turkey. Cupcake has to drop out of the band he enjoys and go the extra mile to sell as many baked goods as he can. Much of the book shows Cupcake's hard work, which doesn't actually get him anywhere in the end because he gives his money to Eggplant—who has lost his job—instead. This seems to be showing that it's good to help others, and not to idolize when one can believe in oneself. However, it does make the ending feel a tad anticlimactic and as if nothing has been solved, since it seems that Cupcake has worked hard and pushed himself for nothing. Altogether the book has a mellow, easygoing feel, using soft colors and showing many yummy foods. As an added bonus, recipes for how to make the various scrumptious meals readers watch Cupcake prepare are provided. As in her previous Robot Dreams, Varon's art is simple and cozy, making this sweet tale a confection of its own. Ages 9–12. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Leigh Geiger
This quirky 158-page graphic novel may offer a little something for everyone. Very young children may enjoy the simply drawn anthropomorphized foods. Some adults may enjoy the "adorable" storyline and even a few of the enclosed recipes, which include brownies and dog treats. The primary audience, however, will be children in the third grade and above. Reluctant and advanced readers alike will enjoy the finer graphic details included throughout the majority of the panels. Some are comical including the accessories for each character's pets while others are poignant such as the "Nothing is Special Today" sign posted in the bakery when the owner, Cupcake, is depressed about losing his gig in the community band. In fact, the sparse text is barely necessary; the graphics carry the story which is about a cupcake that single-handedly runs his own bakery. When he learns that his best friend, an eggplant, is going to visit Turkey where the famous pastry chef Turkish Delight resides, Cupcake wants to join him. The baker works diligently to raise the money for the trip. When Eggplant loses his job, Cupcake gives his ticket to Eggplant. As he gives up his dreams of seeing Turkish Delight, Cupcake succumbs to a minor depression while his friend is away. The story ends with a hopeful although not definitive plan for the two friends to try to win a trip together. I do have some reservations about this book. The characters are all adults with business issues that won't resonant well with children, but their actions reflect their innocent nature so this may help young readers identify with their dilemmas. The text is not tightly written as the author wanders into situations that don't drive the story, perhaps to provide an opportunity for more graphics. And finally, there is the cannibalistic nature of the characters—a cupcake that makes pastries, including cupcakes and then eats them may be disturbing if readers stop to consider this! Reviewer: Leigh Geiger, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 2–6—Cupcake, a cupcake that owns a bakery in Brooklyn, is in a band with his best friend, an eggplant. When he finds out that Eggplant is going to be seeing Cupcake's idol, the pastry chef Turkish Delight, in Istanbul, he tries a series of new projects and ways to sell baked goods in order to buy a plane ticket to join him. His efforts reinvigorate his excitement for creative baking, but they keep him from playing in the band. It's difficult to guess what readers will think of a book that both stars foodstuffs and yet is about the consumption of food. Cupcake doesn't seem at all conflicted about being friends with an anthropomorphic carrot while also chopping one up to make carrot cake, but some kids might find it confusing and distracting. The book is filled with details, labels, and readable actions, which makes it nicely interactive. The friendship between Cupcake and Eggplant is interestingly complex, with a great dream sequence spelling some of it out. Gentle, domestic, and with a plethora of particulars and seven recipes at the back that are featured in the story line, this book has a will-o'-the-wisp charm and a distinctive, quirky voice.—Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NHHigh School
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596437401
  • Publisher: First Second
  • Publication date: 8/30/2011
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 801,769
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Originally from outside Chicago, Sara Varon now resides in Brooklyn, where she likes to bake, and especially eat, baked goods. Fortunately, she is a runner and recreational boxer, so she gets lots of exercise too. Her other books include Robot Dreams, Chicken and Cat, Chicken and Cat Clean Up, and Sweaterweather. You can find her online at chickenopolis.com

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2014

    Bake sale is a very funny book because the characters are food.

    Bake sale is a very funny book because the characters are food. The eggplant and the cupcake are in a band. The eggplant wants the cupcake to go to Turkey with him so he can meet Turkish Delight. The eggplant holds a bake sale to raise money for the trip. This was a very cool book that I just couldn't put down!

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