Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Fairies of Blossom Bakery: Cupcake and the Princess Party & Cookie and the Secret Sleepover by Mandy Archer and Kirsteen Harris-Jones (Children's, Picture books, 9/10)

July 2013, Corgi, 32 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Themes: fairies, magic, flying, baking cakes and sweet goodies, helping in a bakery, trying to do something yourself, accepting help and different skills from others, running out of ingredients, keeping a secret, sort of lying, dilemmas, pretty outfits, friendship lessons,

Content: lots of smiles to be had

When an important messenger arrives at the Blossom Bakery on opening day asking Cupcake and her fairy friends to make a cake for Princess Crystal, they can't wait to get started. But things start to go wrong and as the pressure mounts, the fairy friends realise they need to work together to make the magic happen.

Nayuleska's thoughts 
I'm predominantly reviewing these two books in one go as some comments apply to both. This is an adorable new series for young readers. Naturally I thought of another series which this sort of reminds me of - no not Winx! It's Strawberry Shortcake (without wings) as each Blossom Bakery tale evolves around the girls' friendship and the misunderstandings they experience.
Blossom Bakery grils
Strawberry Shortcake girls: from the left: Plum Pudding, Blueberry Muffin, Orange Blossom, Strawberry Shortcake, Cherry Jam, Raspberry Tort, Lemon Meringue)
The pictures are part of this review because it shows that readers who have watched/read other vaguely alike shows/books that Blossom Bakery fairies are girls they want to get to know - I definitely did!

I loved finding out the different skills the girls have, how they learn the hard way that form extra special occasions you often can't do a good job on your own (Cupcake and the Princess Party) and friends will understand a situation more than you give them credit for (Secret Sleepover). The detail of the delightful illustrations makes each page worth several more, for readers can imagine the hours it took Cupcake to make all the cakes that weren't quite right (Princess Party), and the anger/frustration/disappointment Cookie receives (Secret Sleepover).

The reason that both these books lose a grade is that they are confusing. It doesn't seem that Cupcake goes to the same Fairy Academy as the other girls - in both Princess Party and Secret Sleepover she doesn't go there and no one says they missed her. She seems the same age as the others, so why is she missing school? It doesn't say that she is super advanced at magic thus not needing to go to school. I think most readers won't pick up on this point, but it's one I've noticed. To end on a positive note I love how each book has a recipe at the end which relates to the food baked in the story - they aren't the same!

Suggested read
For more magical cupcake fun check out Princess Milly's Mixed-Up Magic: Birthday Surprise by Clemency Pearce & Lauren Beard (Children's, Picture book, 10/10E)

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