When Bee can’t handle living with her foster parents any more, she runs away. Starving and exhausted, she steals a sweet roll from a baker. When the baker, Master Bouts, discovers the thief is a hungry little girl, he takes her in and teaches her to bake. She takes to it so well that people say it’s almost magic. Well, maybe it is—she can bake her emotions into the goodies she makes. Bee’s special baking magic leads her to find new friends and adventures as they all fight against the greedy and dour Master Joris, whose obsession with fancy tulips threatens to destroy the land he should be protecting.
This story, set in a land clearly based on Holland, is a mish-mash of other stories—quite a lot of Like Water for Chocolate in Bee’s magic, a bit of the story of brave little Dutch boy, and some of Dr. Seuss’s The King’s Stilts. Themes tend toward tree-hugging environmentalism, with an emphasis on natural balance and a not-very-subtle message about the importance of trees in particular. More than the obvious message and familiar plot points, however, this is just a really fun book. Relatable characters and snappy dialogue will keep you turning pages.
Capstone Young Readers