These gorgeous desserts may be fairy tales for most bakers.



The owner of the Enchanting Cake Company guides readers in creating their own fairy-tale desserts.

Following two chapters laying out the basic techniques and recipes most of the projects will use, Khan provides brief retellings of 15 fairy tales, each with directions for four creations, including the castle and pumpkin coach from “Cinderella,” candy apples for “Snow White,” magic-carpet cookies for “Aladdin,” lily-pad tarts for “Thumbelina,” a braided pretzel for “Rapunzel,” and meringue clouds for “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Although Khan writes, “The main projects may look complex but…they are really easy to follow and even the most novice baker will be able to wow their guests with their creations,” this is not a book for novices, for those pressed for time (many take multiple days), or for those on a budget. There is a lot of specialty equipment needed to match the photos of Khan’s gorgeous creations (crank-handled palette knife, woodgrain texture mat, cake-lace silicone mat, petal dust, rejuvenator spirit, sugar gun, edible gold paint, to name just a sampling). While her step-by-step directions are easy to follow and full of useful advice that will ease construction, not all the terms are defined, and readers may wish for more photos of the steps. Also, the measurements, while inclusive, may be confusing for younger chefs: “1 3/4 cups / 8 oz (225 g) all-purpose flour.”

These gorgeous desserts may be fairy tales for most bakers. (Cookbook. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-56656-078-8

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Crocodile/Interlink

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

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Good advice on the craft of writing from someone who should know.



The third National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature offers a how-to guide for young writing enthusiasts.

Who’s more qualified to write about the craft of writing than Myers, one of the biggest names in children’s literature and author of 100 works for young readers? Though this volume is far from flashy, the straightforward, no-nonsense, you-can-do-it tone may well inspire young readers and beginning writers. Myers tells about his own life and how he became a writer before moving on to the craft itself, offering advice on structuring fiction using a six-box outline and nonfiction with a four-box outline. Excerpts from his own notebooks and commentaries on his work with teen writer Ross Workman (Myers' collaborator on the soccer novel Kick, 2011; Workman contributes to the backmatter) are enlightening, and readers will find themselves in the presence of a friendly mentor and writing co-conspirator. Ultimately, since writers draw on their own lives and interests, this is a writer’s guide to life. Myers advises, “The best way to find inspiration is just to live your life doing these things that interest you most…. Pursuing your passions will expand your world. This will make you a better writer.”

Good advice on the craft of writing from someone who should know. (writing tips, further reading on writing, about the author, a list of the author’s books) (Nonfiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-220389-2

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Collins

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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Most of Card’s fans will agree with writer John Brown’s assertion that trying to winkle out a literary work’s “true meaning”...



A chorus of writers and military experts weigh in on why Card’s Ender’s Game (1985) is a work of genius.

They make cogent arguments. Strategist John F. Schmitt provides an account of the novel’s significant role as a model for the Marine Corps’ “Maneuver Warfare” battle approach, and there’s a perceptive discussion between writer David Lubar and his daughter, a high school teacher, about how Ender’s situation and responses speak to teens. Songwriter Janis Ian meditates on how Ender (and others) are underestimated because they’re short, and Card’s frequent co-author Aaron Johnston agrees, dubbing Ender a “short Clint Eastwood” (but with compassion). Other contributors recall with awe their first encounters with the story, offer detailed analyses of Ender’s psyche and Card’s writerly technical chops, demonstrate that Ender is a classic mythic hero, or mull over the nature and costs of victory. Card provides an introduction (not seen) and, between each essay, answers to frequently asked questions about the story and its characters.

Most of Card’s fans will agree with writer John Brown’s assertion that trying to winkle out a literary work’s “true meaning” kills it, but this tribute may have some appeal to readers with an analytical bent. (thumbnail author bios) (Literary criticism. 16 & up)

Pub Date: April 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-937856-21-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Smart Pop/BenBella

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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