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Formats
Paperback Details
  • 09/2019
  • 1525535552
  • 56 pages
  • $14.93
Hardcover Details
  • 09/2019
  • 1525535544
  • 56 pages
  • $21.78
Sprinkles
Kate Stempel, author

Children/Young Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

Sky, a young baker extraordinaire, is selling her famous cupcakes to raise money for the local animal shelter where she found her beloved dog, Cocoa. Everyone is crazy about Sky’s cupcakes. Everyone, that is, except Mr. Conway. Can Sky and Cocoa help a lonely elderly man find a reason to smile again? Join Sky and Cocoa as they explore how the smallest gestures in life can sometimes have the greatest impact and how friendship comes in all shapes and sizes. Mini cupcakes, mini trees, and mini moments combine to form the perfect recipe for life lessons as Sky and Cocoa learn about the power of friendship, responsibility, and what it means to give back to the community. Sprinkles will delight girls and boys by teaching them to imagine, smile, and show compassion.
Reviews
Stempel’s sweet debut picture book blends cupcakes and bonsai trees with kindness and community. Sky, a girl who looks about 10, makes a batch of mini cupcakes, hoping to sell them to raise money for her suburban neighborhood’s animal shelter. As Sky and her mother set off with the cupcakes, they encounter their crotchety neighbor, Mr. Conway, who brusquely turns down the sweet treats before continuing with his evening walk. At the local nursery, Sky strikes a sweet deal, trading some cupcakes for an adorable little bonsai tree. Mr. Conway arrives as they’re leaving and also winds up with a bonsai tree—but in order to take care of it, he has to let Sky teach him about listening and love.

Children will instantly warm to Stempel’s pint-size protagonist (and her luscious cupcake flavor combinations, such as double chocolate with marshmallow frosting, graham cracker sprinkles, and a caramel drizzle). Spunky Sky doesn’t take rejection personally, and, through her generosity and kindness, she cares for and supports her community. Sky’s open and caring nature shines through in every conversation, and Stempel’s sensitive narrative shows how the briefest of interactions can hurt and the smallest of selfless gestures can change someone’s life for the better.

Stempel, a volunteer with a program that delivers food to the homebound elderly, underscores the importance of companionship with older neighborhood residents, shown in Sky’s burgeoning relationship with widowed, gray-haired Mr. Conway. Hershey’s dynamic digital illustrations evoke Sky’s bouncy energy, Mr. Conway’s gloom, and the contrast between Sky’s happy, well-loved tree and Mr. Conway’s sad, wilting one. Occasional words pop and swoop out of the text to convey changes in mood, adding emphasis and whimsy.

Takeaway: This sweet and touching illustrated story conveys important lessons about intergenerational connections and will be meaningful to both children and adults.

Great for fans of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jane Dyer’s Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, Diane Alber’s A Little Spot of Anger: A Story About Managing Big Emotions.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: B
Marketing copy: C

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 09/2019
  • 1525535552
  • 56 pages
  • $14.93
Hardcover Details
  • 09/2019
  • 1525535544
  • 56 pages
  • $21.78

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