Culinary mishaps ensue when 9-year-old cousins Willow and Delia conspire to avoid being flower girls in their aunt’s wedding.
Willow and Delia are adamantly opposed to their roles as flower girls at their aunt Rosie’s wedding. During their annual summer visit to Saugatuck, on the Lake Michigan shore, the pair devises a plan to foil their impending flower-girl debuts. In hopes of replacing their flower-girl status with catering duty, Willow and Delia decide to spend the week preceding the wedding showing off their culinary expertise. However, the girls soon discover that Mr. Henry, the owner of their vacation house, has hired a new chef and caterer. Undaunted, the girls persevere. The duo’s schemes are disrupted by comical kitchen catastrophes, the antics of Willow’s 5-year-old brother and their family dog, as well as the mysterious behavior of Mr. Henry. Hannigan deftly portrays the angst Willow struggles with as she approaches the early-preteen years. With keen insight, she also explores Delia’s worries about her father’s job loss and concerns about her parents’ marriage. After the girls learn that the new chef has also suffered a recent job loss, their determined efforts to help her in a crisis establish a newfound maturity. Hughes’ cheery black-and-white illustrations capture the cousins’ exuberance, highlighting both misadventures and sentimental moments. Recipes featuring various foods from the story are included.
Hannigan’s lively tale celebrates family and friendship. (Fiction. 9-12)