Book Review: Cupcake
Cupcake by Charise Mericle Harper (Disney Hyperion, $15)
It's always a pleasure to think you know exactly where a picture book is going, and then to be completely surprised by an unexpected turn in the end. Charise Harper's wry and adorable Cupcake gives readers just such a delight.
The plot is rather simple: A plain vanilla cupcake longs for a little je ne sais quoi to make him stand out among his colorfully iced, sprinkle-topped brethren. The despairing dessert meets up with a lonely candle who tries to help him find just the right accoutrement. The endearingly oblivious candle tries all sorts of toppings on his new buddy -- the kind of obviously wrong things that will make young children guffaw, like pickles, spaghetti and smelly cheese. But that poor duo of cupcake and candle just can't seem to find the right combination. At this point, if you think you're sure of this tale's feel-good ending, so was I -- which made me laugh all the more when I realized I was wrong.
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.