cover image Lights, Camera, Cook!

Lights, Camera, Cook!

Charise Mericle Harper, illus. by Aurélie Blard-Quintard. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $12.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-544-91260-1

Four food-savvy kids face off in the first round of a TV cooking show in this snappy launch title in the Next Best Junior Chef series. Eleven-year-old Caroline is coolly confident, army kid Tate has energy to spare, nervous Rae faints when she first takes the stage, and brazen Oliver has “two missions: to win and look good on TV.” Fans of Top Chef Junior and other TV cooking competitions will be right at home with the trappings Harper liberally draws on: celebrity chefs’ demanding yet supportive demeanors, contestants’ off- and on-camera anxieties, and meticulous descriptions of their gastronomic concoctions. Blard-Quintard’s chic b&w spot illustrations capture the children’s emotional ups and downs as they wrestle with surprise ingredients, plan their dream food trucks, and try to negotiate partnered challenges. It’s an entertaining behind-the-scenes look at ambitious foodie kids doing what they do best; readers should be eager to discover who will be forced to hang up their aprons in the next book. Ages 7–10. [em]Author’s agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Agency. (July) [/em]