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Review: Babymouse: Cupcake Tycoon

Due to a small–ahem–incident in the library (which was Babymouse’s fault, but she feels really bad about it), all the kids at Babymouse’s school need to sell cupcakes to earn money for new library books. There’s even a prize for the one who sells the most cupcakes. Babymouse LOVES cupcakes almost as much as she loves books, but how can she compete with Felicia Furrypaws’ amazing ad campaign?

Babymouse: Cupcake Tycoon (Babymouse #13)
fer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Ages: 7-10, Grades: 2-5
m House, September 2010, ISBN 978-0-375-86573-2
96 pages, $6.99

If you’ve missed Babymouse’s previous adventures, it’s never too late to pick one up. You don’t need to have read the first twelve books to understand Babymouse’s predicament this time around. You’ll be amazed at how much detail and how many funny moments the Holm siblings can pack into one Babymouse book. Babymouse’s ever-present fantasies take on Donald Trump, Indiana Jones, Rumpelstiltskin, and more, while her inability to sell cupcakes to an saturated market will be familiar territory to any child (or parent!) who has had to tackle a school fundraiser.

Not only does Babymouse’s story have a terrific sense of humor and a gentle lesson that doesn’t make the book seem preachy or, heaven-forbid, educational, the artwork is top notch. It walks a line between making Babymouse’s world seem realistic and bringing her vivid imagination to life. My favorite example is the image showing what a library means to her. Anyone who has ever loved books has felt the same way. That’s why the Babymouse books are so popular with kids–the Holms haven’t forgotten what it is like to be a kid or the joys and problems that all kids face.

A teaser at the end of the book sets readers up for excitement this summer. There will be not only a new Babymouse title (#14–Mad Scientist), but also a spin-off series that eschews the familiar pink mouse for a more boy-friendly green amoeba named Squish. I, for one, can’t wait.

This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Random House.

Snow Wildsmith About Snow Wildsmith

Snow Wildsmith is a writer and former teen librarian. She has served on several committees for the American Library Association/Young Adult Library Services Association, including the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She reviews graphic novels for Booklist, ICv2's Guide, No Flying No Tights, and Good Comics for Kids and also writes booktalks and creates recommended reading lists for Ebsco's NoveList database. Currently she is working on her first books, a nonfiction series for teens.

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