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Reviewed by:
  • Cupcake Cousins by Kate Hannigan
  • Jeannette Hulick
Hannigan, Kate Cupcake Cousins; illus. by Brook Boynton Hughes. Disney Hyperion, 2014 268p ISBN 978-1-4231-7830-9 $16.99     Ad Gr. 3-5

Fourth-grade cousins Willow and Delia are utterly horrified by the pink flower girl dresses their aunt has selected for them to wear at her wedding. At the extended family’s rental house in Michigan, the girls plot to get out of being flower girls by instead bringing attention to their culinary skills, but the cousins have one mishap after another involving the chef, a Southerner named Cat, until she has had about all she can take from them. Adding to the distress is a rift between Delia’s mother and father resulting from his layoff, and the discovery that Cat, who has inherited the house next door, may lose it to the bank. When a series of events results in Cat’s accidental destruction of part of the wedding cake, the girls finally are able to save the day by fixing the problem with style. Hannigan’s characters are reductively cookie cutter, and repeated encounters with a goose and gosling are an unnecessary addition to the plot, but the portrayal of the girls’ relationships with each other and with their family and friends is genuine and authentic. There’s also real pain in Delia’s observations about her parents’ problems, and while the book’s solution to their woes is rather pat (Cat will marry the rental-house landlord and Delia’s parents will buy Cat’s house and turn it into a gallery), the happy ending [End Page 105] is nonetheless satisfying. Hughes’ occasional monochromatic illustrations are somewhat bland, but they’re cheerful. Recipes for a number of dishes mentioned in the book are included.



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pp. 105-106
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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