Mix the ingredients of a school fair, Grandma’s cupcake recipe and a broken promise to a friend, and you have the 10th entry in the Just Grace series.
Just Grace is still in third grade, her best friend, Mimi, lives next door, and she loves to romp with her dog, Mr. Scruffers, who’s really a female. The plot centers on a visit from Grace’s grandmother, her excellent cupcake recipe (included in the backmatter) and the annual school fair. When Grace accidentally suggests cupcakes for the fair theme, she breaks a pinky-swear promise with Mimi: to support Mimi’s idea that candy should be the theme for the school fair. Two devices add to the charm of Grace’s ingenuous narrative. Frequent captions in place of chapter headings facilitate flow; such brief phrases as “The Thing That Made Me Extra Happy” and “What Is Really Hard to Do” break the text into bite-sized chunks and lead readers smoothly through transitions. And Grace’s love for creating new words by putting two together—mad + frustrated = mustrated, yummy + delicious = yummilicious—is downright endearing. Black-and-white spot art with balloon dialogue is just right for Grace’s spunky personality.
This title can be read alone and will win new fans, while long-standing fans will cheer. Just Grace continues to be just delightful. (Fiction. 7-10)