cover image Original Recipe

Original Recipe

Jessica Young, illus. by Jessica Secheret. Capstone/Picture Window, $8.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-4795-5878-0

Third-grader Finley Flowers stars in this entertaining series opener, in which she is trying to win her school’s cook-off competition. Young’s story, told in 12 chapters, focuses on Finley and her best friend Henry as they experiment with a slew of culinary mashups. Readers will get a kick out of considering the... interesting concoctions Finley and Henry whip up—strawberry-garlic burritos or salad dressing soup, anyone? Secheret gives the characters oversize heads and dainty, doll-like features in her full-color spot illustrations, helping highlight their personalities. As friendship and family dilemmas spike the plot, Young avoids handing easy victories to her determined and undeniably creative heroine. A recipe for Finley’s PB&J Spaghetti is included (hot sauce makes it “KAPOW-erful”), but most of her creations are, blessedly, left to readers’ imaginations. Ages 6–8. Author’s agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agency: Bright Agency. (Feb.)