cover image Cupcake Cousins

Cupcake Cousins

Kate Hannigan, illus. by Brooke Boynton Hughes. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (288) ISBN 978-1-4231-7830-9

Fourth-grader Willow lives for summer vacations on Lake Michigan with her extended family, including her cousin Delia. This year, Willow and Delia’s Aunt Rosie is getting married, but the girls think they’re too old to be flower girls, especially in dresses fit for a toddler. Their plan is to demonstrate that their real talents involve baking, but they get off on the wrong foot with the caterer, disappointing Willow. Delia, meanwhile, is worried about her father’s unemployment and the toll it’s taking on her parents’ marriage. Add in a pair of snobby older sisters, an energetic younger brother, and a wedding day baking emergency, and debut novelist Hannigan has assembled all the ingredients for an entertaining and gentle-natured family tale. Delia’s anxieties and Willow’s struggle to be seen as more than a little kid are relatable, and first-time illustrator Hughes’s spot illustrations (not all seen by PW) give a good sense of the girls, the vacation home they love, and the matter-of-fact racial diversity of their clan. The ending is almost as sweet as the recipes that end several chapters. Ages 8–12. Author's agent: Jennifer Mattson, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Teresa Kietlinski, Prospect Agency. (May)