Book Review: BABYMOUSE: CUPCAKE TYCOON – written by Jennifer & Mathew Holm
Holm, Jennifer & Matthew Holm. 2010. BABYMOUSE: CUPCAKE TYCOON. NY: Random House. ISBN 978-0375965739.
BABYMOUSE: CUPCAKE TYCOON is the thirteenth graphic novel in the award winning BABYMOUSE series. The BABYMOUSE series chronicles imaginative Babymouse’s adventures in hilarious dialog and black, white, and pink illustrations. In CUPCAKE TYCOON, Babymouse’s school library is having a cupcake selling fund-raiser thanks to the library sprinkler accident caused by her overactive imagination. Babymouse is determined to outsell all the other students and win the “special” prize, however, she is “thwarted at every turn by a more aggressive classmate who mounts a massive advertising campaign” (Alverson 2012). Will she win the contest? Or, will she “remember why she is selling cupcakes in the first place—because she loves books” (Alverson 2012)?
The artwork in BABYMOUSE: CUPCAKE TYCOON is drawn in bold black lines with splashes of pink throughout. The total composition (graphic artwork and text) “unifies all the elements” of this novel (Vardell 2008, 54). The illustrations “walk a line between making Babymouse’s world seem realistic and bringing her vivid imagination to life” (Wildsmith 2011).
Graphic Novels for kids are a “fun connection between fantasy fiction and graphic interpretation” (Vardell 2008, 228). The BABYMOUSE series is a fun combination of a relatable and realistic setting (a school) and imaginative fantasies. Anyone who has ever lost themselves in an imaginary daydream will relate to Babymouse’s humorous escapades and mishaps. The plot and dialog in BABYMOUSE: CUPCAKE TYCOON is fairly simple. However, a younger reader or inexperienced reader could be confused by the “shifts back and forth between fantasy and reality” (Alverson 2012).
BABYMOUSE Book Trailer:
- The Chicago Sun-Times: “Move over, Superman, here comes Babymouse!”
- Starred Review, The Horn Book: “Nobody puts Babymouse in the corner!”
- Booklist: “Cute, smart, sassy Babymouse is fun and funny, and this book, like its predecessors, will draw reluctant readers as well as Babymouse fans.”
- The Bulletin: “An almost absurdly likeable heroine.”
(from the Random House website – http://www.randomhousekids.com/brand/babymouse-squish/activities/?page=1&views=9#searchresults)
Random House has many BABYMOUSE enrichment activities on their website such as crossword puzzles and coloring pages. The Random House website also has a BABYMOUSE tycoon cupcake recipe that parents can make with their children.
Moreover, this site has downloadable BABYMOUSE comic fill-in worksheets so children can create their own BABYMOUSE graphic novel.
BABYMOUSE Series Awards: (from Jennifer Holm’s website http://www.jenniferholm.com/p/babymouse.html)
• WINNER 2006 – Gryphon Award
• WINNER 2006 – ALA Notable Children’s Book
• WINNER 2006 – New York Book Show Awards
The BABYMOUSE Song:
What to Read to Next:
- Harper, Charise Mericle. 2005. FASHION KITTY. NY: Hyperion. ISBN 978-0786851348
- Holm, Jennifer & Matthew Holm. 2005. BABYMOUSE: OUR HERO. NY: Random House. ISBN 978-0375932304.
- Alverson, Brigid. “Review: BABYMOUSE #13: CUPCAKE TYCOON.” Kids Read. July 9, 2012. http://www.kidsreads.com/reviews/babymouse-13-cupcake-tycoon (accessed April 23, 2014).
- Vardell, Sylvia M. Children’s Literature in Action: A Librarian’s Guide. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2008.
- Wildsmith, Snow. “Review: BABYMOUSE: CUPCAKE TYCOON.” School Library Journal. April 20, 2011. http://blogs.slj.com/goodcomicsforkids/2011/04/20/review-babymouse-cupcake-tycoon/ (accessed April 23, 2014).