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Emma Burblee couldn't be more different from her parents if she tried. She'd rather dig for treasure in a park than try on the latest fashions or discuss her vain parents' favorite subject: themselves. When Emma mortifies her parents at a dinner party, her punishment is immediate. She must spend the summer with her Uncle Simon—a loathsome man with a huge appetite for food and get-rich-quick schemes.Although Emma's days revolve around cooking and cleaning, there is one bright spot. Her uncle's sweet tooth means she gets to visit the town bakery, Mr. Crackle's Cake Shop, all the time. This world-renowned baker is as charming and kind as Uncle Simon is vile. But then Emma discovers a plot by Uncle Simon and one of his shady acquaintances; they've set their sights on ruining Mr. Crackle (and the entire dessert making industry for that matter). Can Emma stop their evil plan?First-time author Meika Hashimoto's effervescent tale, filled with funny characters and adventures, will have readers checking their cupboards for mouth-watering ingredients and secret portals.From the Hardcover edition.read more
With its exaggerated villains; tongue-tripping, made-up words; and magical, confection-filled setting, this delightfully goofy novel offers a faint whiff of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Emma Burblee's self-absorbed and superficial parents, who "drank fancy champagne and ate rare caviar by the gallon," have little use for their plain, down-to-earth daughter. After they foist 10-year-old Emma off on equally horrid Uncle Simon, she seems destined to spend the summer cooking for her gluttonous uncle and cleaning his toilets with a toothbrush, until she meets pastry chef extraordinaire, Mr. Crackle. When Emma walks into his bakery, she "felt like she had been dropped in the middle of a miracle." The shop, which contains a portal to an enchanted spice storeroom, is the scene of Crackle's race against time to concoct "The Elixir of Delight," a potion that makes all food taste divine and that will also save Crackle's life (he's been poisoned by Uncle Simon's scheming cohort). Though not Dahl, this is considerable fun for readers who have a taste for sweet, whimsical adventure. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.