Sweet Competition

Liz and Jimmy Reed. Harper, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-240359-9
The Reeds, the husband-and-wife team behind the webcomic Cuddles and Rage, know what readers like. Their wacky food dioramas, made out of polymer clay, give their spreads a sense of luscious immediacy. (It doesn’t hurt that the story revolves around dessert.) The two cherries who star—Boy Cherry wears a bow tie, Girl Cherry a hair bow—are joined at the stem. Their sibling rivalry is unrelenting (“I’m getting a double.” “Oh, yeah? Then I’m getting a triple”), but they learn to cooperate in order to win the Golden Cone for the best ice cream sundae, working with friends that include a can of whipped cream and jars of sprinkles and hot fudge sauce. They practice by climbing Banana’s Sky High Split (“12 cherries high!”) and bathing (hazardously) in Brownie’s Summer Pool Sundae; when the competition gets underway, they collaborate on a gargantuan ice cream creation that gives new meaning to the word “excess.” While kids are more likely to shut the book and ask for ice cream than make peace with their siblings, it’s tasty fun from beginning to end. Ages 4–8. Agent: Charlie Olsen, Inkwell Management. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2016
Release date: 11/01/2016
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