One of the five spongy cupcakes that show up flush with the die-cut front cover of this board book disappears with each page turn.
Using a familiar rhyme pattern, this sweet confection counts down from “5 yummy cupcakes” to “One yummy cupcake.” The smiling pastel cupcakes, each decorated with a different type of sprinkles, are engaged in very un-cake-like behavior. They “shimmy,” “giggle,” “jiggle,” “wiggle,” and “swing” but one by one are ultimately bumped off the page by a milkshake, doughnut, ice cream cone, and cookie. Each stanza is displayed against a different background—a cake shop, a meadow with a smiling rainbow, a carnival complete with rides, and a library. That none of this makes any sense won’t matter at all to little sweethearts just learning to count backward. The rhymes read smoothly, and the rhythm bounces along to a predictable beat. Wan’s palette of pink, mint green, and lemon yellow is tempered by shades of peach, olive green, and purple, along with chocolate-brown outlines. Unlike real cupcakes (or the monkeys readers might be familiar with from a similarly cadenced rhyme), none are devoured. On the final spread all five cupcakes and their sweet-treat friends return, “laughing joyfully” under a mostly pink rainbow that arcs across a sprinkle sky.
A harmless sugar-coated confection that won’t rot baby’s teeth. (Board book. 1-3)