Twelve-year-old Rose Bliss wants to work magic in her family's bakery as her parents do, but when they are called away and Rose and her siblings are left in charge, the magic goes awry and a beautiful stranger tries to talk Rose into giving her the Bliss Cookery Booke.
The Bliss family have been cooking for generations using recipes from the Bliss Family Cookery Booke. The current Bliss family live in Calamity Falls and run a small but popular bakery. The Bliss children have to help out in the bakery and their cute and clever names are: Rosmary, Leigh, Sage and Thyme (aka Ty). Rose is beginning to suspect that the Cookery Booke has magical elements in it and wants nothing more than to learn its secrets. When their parents have to make the difficult choice to leave for a few nights, the kids are put in charge along with the regular bakery assistant. Then a mysterious, Aunt Lily, shows up. No one is ever heard of her but they welcome her with open arms. She has nefarious reasons for being there, mostly wanting the magic cook book. Chaos descends, but the family pulls together and creates some of its own magic.
The Bliss family is very generous and kind. They are always helping the people in their town with their magical recipes. They have been entrusted with secrets meant to help people. Aunt Lily has been jealous that she was not the one who got to keep the Cookery Book and wants it to build a bakery empire. This is a funny and inspiring family story that young readers will enjoy.
This really is a great book for Upper Elementary and Middle school libraries. Some of the younger readers may need a bit of help with short parts of cursive text (if they have not yet learned cursive) and some pronunciation/definitions -- ie. Booke, mi Hermana, Monsieur, excusez-moi, etc. The book reminded me of magical TLC reality cooking show. This book would make a good addition to a food or cooking book display, a magic theme or a siblings/family theme. It could be used for a semester long read aloud as the story would appeal to both boys and girls at the upper elementary level. It would make a great choice for SSR or reading for fun.
Okay, I knew it was a children’s middle-grade book, and I knew it involved magic. But still … this was just so awful I don’t even need some Cookies of Truth to write this review.
Rose is only eleven, but she is so unsure of herself, so certain she isn’t pretty or clever or (insert positive attribute here), and she bemoans her lack of looks, brains, etc on practically every page! Given her lack of confidence, it’s no wonder that she’s quickly seduced by Aunt Lily’s glamour and flattery. This, of course, makes me wonder why her parents would entrust the key to the special cabinet to Rose – or any of the children, for that matter. Why not just lock it up and take the key with them? Clearly, I’m not the intended audience, but I can’t imagine my nieces and nephews enjoying this either.
Still, I admit that some of the unintended results of their experiments were entertaining. So I’ll give it 2 stars.