MR. MARLEY'S MAIN STREET CONFECTIONERY by John J. Loeper

MR. MARLEY'S MAIN STREET CONFECTIONERY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the manner of Loeper's The Shop on High Street (1978), this brings different but undifferentiated children to Mr. Marley's elegant 1890s candy shop, using eight-year-old Bobby Baxter's indecision at the penny-candy counter as a lead-in to a short history of candy; Miss Pickering's homemade candy castle as a bridge to actual examples of ""sugar art""; and Charlie's cracking of the chocolate code to explain the meaning of the shapes and swirls that signify vanilla, cherry, or whatever. In some of the other set-up episodes Frank gives Amy some printed ""conversation candy"" for Valentine's day, Jeremy Harris collects his used ""window candy"" (faded or melted from its display days but a bargain for three cents), and Tommy Martin finds his Easter basket full of handmade and hand-decorated eggs and rabbits. The device of the fictionalized children is awkward and perfunctory, though the lure of the subject might carry readers through these true-enough stories of the origins of fudge and peanut brittle as mistakes; the debut of the ""ice cream cornucopia,"" served in a rolled-up waffle, at the St. Louis World's Fair; and the special nature of seasonal treats when strawberry ice cream was cranked by hand using real strawberries and real cream. A nostalgia trip to the days when the Daily Gazette would describe a new soda fountain as ""an oasis of liquid delight.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1979
Publisher: Atheneum