Review by Jocelyne Gregory
Tundra Books, Penguin Random House Canada, 7 July 2020
44 pages, Hardcover, $21.99 CDN
978-1-10191-885-2, E-book 978-1-10191-886-9
Ages 4-8, Preschool to Grade 2
When bakers fight, it’s the public that wins… at least that is what happens on Sweet Street. Caroline Adderson’s It Happened on Sweet Street takes place on a quiet cul-de-sac where Monsieur “creator of cakes” Oliphant, Mademoiselle “cookie concocter” Fée, and Madame “ baker of pies” Clotilde compete against each other in baking contests.
Monsieur Oliphant is originally the sole baker on Sweet Street, but he’s soon joined by Mademoiselle Fée, who brings her own unique style and gingerbread designs. As more people gather to buy their sweets, Madame Clotilde soon joins the fray with delicious pies and homemade crusts. Drama between the three bakers builds, and so do the number of shoppers who begin to argue who has the best desserts and why. Soon a food fight breaks out between the crowd and bakers who want to answer the question: Which dessert is the best? (And, FYI, the ending might surprise you.)
The illustrations by Stéphane Jorisch are timeless and inviting. Each character is unique but also very alive on the page. The food is artistic and appealing. The rainbow menagerie of colours bring the reader into the vivid world of Sweet Street. The characters’ actions bring them to life and show off their distinctive personalities. As I read, I was mightily tempted to touch the characters on the pages and try the appealing desserts.
This book is fun, artistic and uniquely styled. The images will stay with the reader long after putting the book down. It Happened on Sweet Street would be ideal in a home library, a school library, and a public library.
It Happened on Sweet Street will hit the shelves on July 7th, 2020!
Jocelyne Gregory is a UBC MFA creative writing candidate and a graduate of SFU’s The Writer’s Studio. She’s an author and editor and has provided manuscript consultations with the Sechelt Public Library and the Writer’s Studio. A lifelong gamer and fan of comics, she lives on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada.