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Bake Sale Paperback – Aug 30 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: First Second (Aug. 30 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596434198
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596434196
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 1.1 x 20.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #120,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Another beautiful homage to friendship. ―Booklist

An offbeat story about the sacrifices made for friends, about the very everydayness of such acts and the pitfalls and pleasures in their wake.― Kirkus Reviews

This book has a will-o’-the-wisp charm and a distinctive, quirky voice.―SLJ

About the Author

Originally from outside Chicago, Sara Varon now resides in Brooklyn, where she likes to bake, and especially eat, baked goods. Fortunately, she is a runner and recreational boxer, so she gets lots of exercise too. Her other books include Robot Dreams, Chicken and Cat, Chicken and Cat Clean Up, and Sweaterweather.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A cupcake that bakes -- how sweet!! Nice lesson: Life IS boring without goals. And a friend who is there for you when you need them is hard to find, so pay it forward.

My only con: open ending
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Engaging and sweet story of friendship that shows creative ways to work toward goals with a lesson on generosity included!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars 37 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tasty June 29 2011
By Dienne - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Poor Cupcake. He's in a baking slump. He's tired of making the same old bake goods every day for his bakery. But when he tries his hand at fortune cookies, the result is, well, less than appetizing.

Cupcake's hope is rekindled when his good friend Eggplant invites him to go to Turkey with him to meet his Aunt Aubergine and Aubergine's business partner, the famous pastry chef Turkish Delight. Cupcake doesn't know how he'll raise the money for his ticket; he doesn't make that much selling cupcakes at the bakery. Eggplant suggests that he could stay open later or sell his cupcakes at special events, but that would mean giving up playing the drums in the band. What's a Cupcake to do?

But when Cupcake's fantasies of meeting the famous pastry chef interfere with his concentration during band practice and intrude on his dreams, he decides that he simply must do what it takes to meet her, so he sacrifices for his dream. He gives up the band and sells cupcakes and other special treats at special events: marzipan animals at the blessing of the animals, cupcakes with British and American flags at a boxing match between British and American contenders, specially-made doggie treats at the dog show and peppermint brownies for Valentine's Day. Finally he has saved enough for his ticket - Eggplant will be so happy. Well, except that Eggplant has run into some difficulty of his own. Again, what's a Cupcake to do?

This story is absolutely delightful. The graphic novel approach will appeal to kids of all ages and genders, whether advanced or reluctant readers. My 4½ year old daughter was absolutely captivated for the whole book - this is by far the longest book she has sat still for. The artwork is well done, engaging and believable, despite the fact that all of the characters are edible. The storyline provides a sweet message about sacrificing for what is important, as well as learning what is important.

And as an added bonus, the book contains several recipes for baked goods which Cupcake makes throughout the story. Most of the recipes appear pretty basic and even a novice and incompetent pastry chef such as myself should be able to make them. I haven't yet tried them yet, but I look forward to making them with my daughter. I will update this review when we've made some. For those of you more skilled and adventurous, the book contains a couple advanced recipes including glazed edible flowers and marzipan animals. Good luck!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute Graphic Novel Plus Simple Recipes Sept. 17 2011
By TammyJo Eckhart - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Sara Varon's "Bake Sale" is a 158 pages graphic novel that probably best for older children who could use their parents' kitchens to try out the recipes listed in the back. Actually there are eight recipes, two of them for frosting but only one has a separate listing. The recipes themselves are shows in two places -- either we see Cupcake making them and commenting on their ease or difficulty, or we see them at least mentioned in the story.

The story of Cupcake, his bakeshop and his quest to go with his friend Eggplant to meet a famous baker is the basic tale. Through this we see how small bakeries operate, how creative small business owners struggle to be, and how the person behind that morning coffee or cookie we may treat ourselves to might live beyond their store. Cupcake's emotions and life seem honest if a bit freaky.

Freaky because Varon has created a world in which food is the dominant lifeform. This is freaky on three levels. First, our main characters do not have real names, only what they are -- Eggplant, Cupcake, Potato, Sugar -- and so forth. Apparently there are many of the same kind of food and yet other names are never given. Second, these food people run the full gambit from living veggies and fruits to processed food like Sugar and Turkish Delight. Finally the most freakish aspect is that living food eats, grows, process, and cooks with food. It felt similar to a book about cannibals.

That is likely just me as an adult talking, I but most kids under the age of 12 could just see past that but don't be surprised if sensitive children are confused.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice art, boring story. July 12 2011
By bekki - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This book has high quality pages and really cute illustrations, but the storyline is so boring. Bake Sale follows a baker (Cupcake) who has to come up with creative ways to sell his goods to make extra money for a dream vacation. He (she?) makes small personal sacrifices along the way and eventually one big sacrifice for a friend. There are several baking scenes, where the reader is walked through individual steps of some kitchen process such as baking or making sugared flowers. While I appreciate this unique approach to children's literature, and I realize the importance hard work and friendship, the preparation and sale of baked goods just makes for an incredibly dull story. I don't think things need to be action packed to be exciting or interesting but day to day baking and business is just a little too mundane.

As I mentioned before, the artwork is adorable, but I do find some things kind of funny (or odd). For instance, Cupcake makes a carrot cake, then in the next scene is at a diner run by Carrot... I couldn't help but to hope they didn't kidnap one of Carrot's relatives to make the cake. In Cupcake's defense, the world is populated by food, so it was probably inevitable.

Silliness aside, my daughter does enjoy reading this with me, but she doesn't get quite as into it as she does with other books. She does have enjoy flipping through it on her own to enjoy the artwork. There is a little mini-cookbook in the back that has the recipes Cupcake makes in the book but we haven't made any of them, but it is a nice touch.
5.0 out of 5 stars So cute! May 5 2014
By BlaiddDrwg - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A friend asked me if food eating food was considered cannibalism.

I thought this book was very cute, a fast and easy read, and I can't wait to try the recipes it comes with.

I also really like how there are a lot of labels for items drawn in the book, utensils, spices, etc. Great for vocabulary with kids.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Endearing book about a cupcake and his eggplant friend June 23 2011
By Sam Archer - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This book is intended for kids but has appeal to adults as well.

The story is about the life of a cupcake who runs a small bakery. His friend, an eggplant, has connections with a famous baker named Turkish Delight who cupcake wants to meet.

The cupcake then raises money by working hard to get a plane ticket to visit Turkish Delight to learn some of the recipes. However, circumstances change and cupcake ends up giving eggplant the money for the trip to visit his aunt and cupcake has to stay home.

It's a bit melancholy when cupcake loses interest in baking and realizes that he has lost his drummer position in their band cause he was working so hard.

In the end, the cupcake and eggplant work together toward winning a plane trip for two anywhere in the world in a baking contest. A hopeful ending for a well illustrated and thoughtful book.

My 1st grader and preschooler like the pictures but some of the finer points are lost on them. I'm sure older kids 3rd grade and up will enjoy this book. I'm not sure if kids would really re-read this book much though.