Thursday, May 13, 2010

Children's Book Review: It's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder

Title:  It's Raining Cupcakes 
Author: Lisa Schroeder 
Publisher:  Aladdin
Genre: middle grade (MG)   
Hardcover: 193 pages
ISBN: 9781416990840 

Twelve-year-old Isabel is dying to get out of Oregon. She spends her free time in the library, reading and dreaming about faraway places. When her mom decides to open a cupcake shop in their little town of Willow, Isabel feels just like buttercream frosting to a cupcake - stuck.

It seems as if it will be another disappointing summer, until Isabel learns of a baking contest. If she can come up with a winning recipe, she might have a chance of competing in the bake-off in New York City!

But Isabel's best friend, Sophie, is also entering the contes, and things always seem to go Sophie's way. To make matters worse, Isabel and her mom don't exactly see eye-to-eye on the type of recipe Isabel should enter.

In this sweet treat by popular teen author Lisa Schroeder, Isabel discovers that maybe it's not about where you go in life as much as it is about enjoying the view from wherever you are.

  • Overall rating: 8/10

To buy this book:  IndieBound | The Book Depository | Powell's | Amazon
Add this book to your:  Goodreads | Shelfari | Library Thing | Visual Bookshelf
Find or request a copy of this book at your local library:  WorldCat

It's Raining Cupcakes is a delicious middle-grade book about learning to treasure the people and places closest to your heart.  It is about being happy with who you are and pursuing your dreams in spite of challenges.  One tiny warning: this book might also leave you craving yummy cupcakes!  Thankfully, there are recipes at the end of the book to keep your sweet tooth satisfied.  :)

What I Liked:
-     Isabel's voice is authentic and believable, and I quickly found myself caught up in her dreams of traveling far away from her small town life.  It is also easy to understand why she hopes to distance herself from her emotionally fragile mother.
-     The supporting characters are eccentric and entertaining.  From the joke-cracking barber to the talented artist and the very rambunctious twins, I enjoyed all of the colorful characters in Isabel's life.  
-     I liked the concept of their little independent shop striving to be successful when a big corporate bakery moves into town.  Not only is it easy to cheer for the underdog, but this book nicely illustrated exactly how and why small businesses are valuable to a community.
-     Willow is a charming small town with an old-fashioned feel to it.  Although Isabel longs to travel, her tiny hometown is actually painted in a flattering light and it is fun to see her come to appreciate her life there.
-     Isabel's friend Sophie is bright, charismatic, and overflowing with personality.  Their friendship is a perfectly captured best friend relationship complete with affection, camaraderie, and a touch of jealousy.
-      The cupcake chapter titles are cute and clever, and the baking contest is exactly the kind of thing I would have loved to read about (and enter) as a little girl.

What I Wished:
-     Isabel's mother is emotionally fragile, which is an important aspect of her character & the conflict in this book.  But the way the family tiptoes around Isabel's mom is sometimes more frustrating than her own depressed and easily-discouraged state of mind.  I don't believe fictional characters are under any obligation to be role models, but I did hope to see some of the adults in the book stop tiptoeing around Isabel's mom and begin taking responsibility for urging her toward making positive changes in a more proactive way (without Isabel's urging).

It's Raining Cupcakes is a fun middle-grade novel that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages!  I would recommend it to fans of other sweet middle-grade books like Lindsay Eland's Scones and Sensibility or Lindsey Leavitt's Princess for Hire.  Readers who enjoyed Lisa Schroeder's young adult books like I Heart You, You Haunt Me and Chasing Brooklyn may also want to check out this middle-grade novel.  It's Raining Cupcakes is much lighter in tone and subject matter than her YA verse novels, but Lisa's talent for creating characters who act and feel authentic is apparent in all of her books. To learn more about It's Raining Cupcakes, you can watch Lisa Schroeder's television interview about It's Raining Cupcakes here or visit Lisa Schroeder's:
 website | blog | twitter | facebook YouTube.  

Candace's Book Blog is hosting "Kid's Pick Wednesday" again this week.  It's Raining Cupcakes is our "Kid's Pick."  You can check out her "Kid's Pick" & enter your own children's book selection in the comments here

Happy Reading!  :-)
It's Raining Cupcakes fan art by
(This floral heart painting was inspired by a scene in which Isabel finger paints.)

Contest:  We are giving away a signed copy of It's Raining Cupcakes here on The Eager Readers.  Contest ends 5/31.  :-)


Candace said...

I can't wait to get this book for my daughter. I know she's only 5, but she's obsessed with cupcakes. She wants to make them every week!
And I love the artwork! Very beautiful!

Brimful Curiosities said...

I also enjoyed this book and thought the mother/daughter relationship was quite interesting. I'm hoping to review it soon...I made the S'more cupcakes! A tad sweet.

Violet said...

Candace - Cupcakes are a fun obsession! :) Isn't that a cute cover? Our six year old loved that the chapters each have cupcake-themed titles & a little illustration of a cupcake. Such a sweet book!

Brimful Curiousities - Ooo... I haven't tried making the S'mores cupcakes yet! Fun! I agree that the mother/daughter dynamic was interesting in this book. I look forward to reading your review. :)

Irene Jennings said...

This is a good back. It teaches that you must create your own happiness, and that life fulfillment is relative/different for everyone.

Irene (Gold Buyer)

Adeeva Afsheen said...

I say many thanks to Mr. admin website I read this, because in this website I know a lot of information information that I did not know before his

Obat Polip Pita Suara Herbal
Obat Benjolan Lemak
Obat Flu Batuk Untuk Ibu Hamil Muda
Cara Menghilangkan Kanker Tulang

Blogger said...

BlueHost is ultimately one of the best web-hosting company for any hosting services you might need.