Sunday, January 08, 2023

The Cupcake Diaries Graphic Novel

Simon, Coco and Glass House Graphics (Illustrator) 
Katie and the Cupcake Cure: The Graphic Novel 
Published September 13, 2022 by Simon Spotlight
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

When Katie's best friend grows apart from her, Katie is not quite sure how to navigate middle school alone. Callie has a new group of friends called the Popular Girls Club who go out of their way to be mean to people. Katie is fortunate that she finds several girls to hang out with lunch, and they bond over the cupcakes that Katie's mom makes. She goes to Mia's house, and play with her dogs and look at the Teen Style website, since Mia is into fashion. She's dealing with a new step dad and house. Alexis and Emma join them at lunch. The girls get together for a cupcake lesson, stand up for each other at school, and eventually get a catering gig for which they need to make cupcakes. Katie is still struggling with middle school and dealing with Callie, but her new friends help her acclimate. 

The original series of these books has a whopping 34 books and came out in 2011. They've been fairly popular, but this graphic adaptation will check out faster than chocolate cupcakes get eaten! The colors are bright and cheerful-- who doesn't like illustrations that include rainbow sprinkles? It's easy to tell the characters apart because they are all different, and I thought that the pictures were somehow particularly clear and easy to interpret, while the text was a little larger than some graphic novels, but not so large that the book looks too young. 

From Schroeder's It's Raining Cupcakes to Hannigan's Cupcake Cousins, books about baking are always a huge hit. There are a few graphic novels that embrace cooking, like Mannaert's Chef Yasmina and the Potato Panic and LaMotte and Xu's Measuring Up, but the Cupcake Diaries adaptation is so appealing that it's a great addition to a middle grade graphic novel collection. Who knows? Maybe it will even encourage readers to turn their attention to the chapter book series. 

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