A touch of magic changes boring cookies into something “special” in this early chapter book about cooking and following one’s own heart.
Heidi Heckelbeck excitedly enters her elementary-school cookie contest, wanting to share her family’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies with her friends. Super-competitive Melanie Maplethorpe mocks her recipe, saying it’s boring. Even when Heidi’s best friend Lucy gives her excellent advice—“Stick with what you do best and you’ll come out on top”—Heidi is unconvinced. She consults her hidden Book of Spells, gathers her ingredients, adds a special dash and waits for the spell to work. While the cookies look beautiful, the smell and taste are surprising—and not in a good way. When Lucy’s plain cookie wins the competition, Heidi learns that Lucy’s original advice was solid. With black line drawings reminiscent of the Jetsons on each page, this slim volume will speak to young readers who have been listening in on television cooking shows with their families. While the plot about magic and spells feels strangely out of place, the rest of this basic school and family story is easy to follow. A recipe for the winning cookies would have been a natural extension for hungry readers.
While somewhat pedestrian fare, this easy-to-read series installment goes down easy enough. (Fiction. 5-8)