I was munching on a homemade chocolate chip macaroon at neighborhood joint The Treats Truck Stop, when a book sitting on the counter caught my eye. It was called Bake Sale, and on the cover was a live eggplant and a live cupcake putting frosting on cupcakes together.
Yes, that's right, the main characters of Bake Sale are an eggplant and a cupcake who are close friends. The book is done in the style of a graphic novel, and at its outset we find Cupcake, the proprietor of The Sweet Tooth Bakery, getting ready to open his shop for the day. He opens for business, and in come some customers - a tomato and then a soda can. Finally, his friend Eggplant comes to pick him up to go out for lunch and then to band practice.
Through the friends' lunchtime conversation, it becomes known that Eggplant is saving up to visit his famous chef and cookbook author Aunt Augustine in Istanbul. When Cupcake learns that Turkish Delight, the greatest pastry chef in the world, is Aunt Aubergine's business partner, he develops an interest in making the mecca to Istanbul with Eggplant.
Dreaming of Turkish Delight, Cupcake starts to fall off his game. He gets distracted at band practice, and loses his mojo as a bakery owner. Can he find his way back to his dreams? I'll let you read the book to find out the deets!
Here's what I loved most about Bake Sale:
- It's whimsical, but also has sweet and deep themes running through it
- The illustrations are excellent
- The main characters are food items, who sell food and go shopping for food and who take their pets to well-loved NY events such as Westminster Dog Show and Blessing of the Animals. Unconventional pairings that work!
- The illustrations and recipes reflect the time Sara took to research bakery life and baked goods
- There are recipes you can actually use
- It confirmed my hunch that cupcakes are not just something for us to consume; they too have important dreams and deep emotional lives
* The author's publicist sent me a copy of Bake Sale at my request, with no guarantee on my part of a positive review.