The first book is about clothing through history for men and women, so it's not really girly. In From Head to Toe: Bound Feet, Bathing Suits, and other Bizarre and Beautiful Things, Janice Weaver does an excellent job at moving from topic to topic and weaving in all sorts of great facts about what people have worn and how they have presented themselves. At 78 pages, with fun illustrations, it will make a great book for the nonfiction unit, and be good for students to read during study hall for entertainment. Did you know that during the Civil War, soldiers would pin a handkerchief with their name written on it to their uniform? Or that bound feet were supposed to be only three inches long and two inches wide? Along with Kathy Shaskan's How Underwear Got Under There: A Brief History, this is a fun and useful addition to my nonfiction collection.
Heather Hepler flies solo in The Cupcake Queen after doing several other books with Brad Barkley. In this, Penny Lane gets dragged from life in Manhattan to Hog's Hollow, where her mother grew up and has moved after divorcing Penny's father. She sets up a cupcake bakery and tries to get started catering parties. After an unfortunate incident at a birthday party, Penny is bullied by the girls in her class and has a hard time fitting in, but things slowly improve. Oh course, just when they do, her parents give her the opportunity to move back to the city.
Another baking themed book was Maureen Fergus' Recipe for Disaster. Francie's parents are still together, but struggling to make ends meet while running their cafe. Francie has her own side business baking, and wants to grow up to be a professional baker and television personality. Her life is also complicated by a mean girl-- new arrival Darlene, who tries to steal her best friend and potential boyfriend. When Francie gets a chance to meet Lorenzo, a tv host and her major crush, she finds that things are not always as they seem.
These were both fine, but didn't do much for me. Cooking books tend to be something I don't like, and perhaps my opinion is colored by the new Sarah Dessen book, which was phenomenal. Take a look at these if you have a lot of girls who like to cook-- both have very appealing covers.