Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tina Cocolina: Queen of the Cupcakes by Pablo Cartaya

Cartaya, Pablo & Howard, Martin. Tina Cocolina: Queen of the Cupcakes, illustrated by Kirsten Richards. Random House, 2010. $16.99. PICTURE BOOK. Tina Cocolina was a cupcake without a topping and she couldn’t compete in the Cream of the Top Cupcake contest without one. Most of her classmates already had toppings like spicy buttercream and triple berry fudge swirl. Tina looked everywhere—a peanut butter brownie patch, fudge sauce stream, caramel tree, but no toppings would stick, no matter how sticky. Discouraged she came home and tried to create a fake topping. It failed. Her parents told Tina not to worry and that at the right time she would find her topping. She went to the contest, where Candyce was rude and handed her a banana peel and strawberry leaves. It was just the inspiration she needed to find her own topping and win. The story’s ending is too sugary sweet, but the concept that different children find talents at different times is an important one. The illustrations are bright and tasty. Chef Howard Martin shares cupcake and topping recipes that correspond with characters; parental assistance and supervision needed. Pre-K, EL – ADVISABLE. Samantha, Public Librarian.

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