Elspeth Lorraine

Book Reviews

December 15, 2023

"The Sugar Plum Bakers: And the 12 Holiday Treats" By Pat Tanumihardja and Illustrated By Bonnie Lui

It’s the last book review of the year! What a pleasure to have spent another year learning from and admiring children’s literature. In the upcoming year I will be expanding the age range that I review, so be on the lookout for even more stories for the kids in your life. If any of the reviews you read this year made you think “I need that book!” You’ll be able to find them on my Bookshop.org page. Bookshop is a great place to buy books because they use indie stores to fill your orders. If you haven’t completed your holiday shopping, take a look.

It’s the holiday season! Imagine that in Andy Williams voice, that’s what I’m doing. I thought I’d kick us off with a book that encompasses a delightful assortment of treats for 12 holidays around the world. Sugar Plum and Mr. G (the gingerbread man) are having the clever and cute bakerinas make 12 different festive treats before they will drop them off all around the world. Bakerinas Rosevine, Moonrider, Kai and Peablossom are all hard at work tasting, stirring, drizzling and sprinkling while Echo is …playing outside before a blizzard. Wait, a blizzard? Oh no! That means the bakerinas need to work double time to get all the baking done and delivered before the storm gets worse. Sugar cookies from America, Benne Wafers for Kwanzaa, Kue Nastar from Indonesia… side note on Kue Naster, these looked delicious! I looked up a recipe and it looked too hard to recreate at home because I am lazy and a poor baker, but you should bake them and then invite me over. Please. The best part of this book is seeing all 12 delicious treats. Now, the whole time the 4 bakerinas were baking, Echo was acting the fool. I know, you probably shouldn’t expect much from a fairy, but at some point it was like, “Hello? Bruh? We have 12 recipes to make. That’s a lot of work. And you rolling around on the ground or throwing powdered sugar isn’t going to help the cause, my guy.” The bakerina’s finally snap at him and he leaves, which I was cool with, but this is a children’s story so he had to come back and they all made up. Then a snow goose arrives and helps them deliver all the treats. Is a snow goose a thing I don’t know about? Cause now I kind of want one. Not to eat, but to wear a Santa hat and fly treats to me, of course.

Bits and Pieces: I’m calling the bakerina’s fairies, but I don’t actually know what they are. One of them was shoeless in the cold, another seemed to have a grapevine on her head, I’m just guessing we are in fairy territory. Or Pixes? They mentioned pixie dust. Whatever they are, they were cute! Bonnie did the illustrations in Photoshop and gave us a festive and pleasant palette to enjoy. This is the second book I’ve reviewed with Bonnie’s work and I continue to enjoy it! There’s only one recipe in the back and I wish we could have had all 12 baked goods recipes.

Not Sure About: I saw Mr. G and Sugar Plum rushing the fairies a few times… but I sure didn’t see them lend a hand. Sus.

Favorite Part: Moonrider was hands down the coolest of the bunch. He had overalls AND a cape AND a Wizard’s Hat AND extra long white dad socks on. At what point do I lean fully into my Moonrider fashion aesthetic? Will my husband leave me? Will my friends intervene? Who knows, but Moonrider just became America’s (Elspeth’s) Next Top Model.

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