My first witchy read of the month is a children's novel that brings witchy to a new level - one that includes baking. Yes, you read that correctly. Baking.
|love this cover|
Pages: 225 (266 if you include the awesome recipes)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Summary (from book jacket):
Poppy Pendle was born on the floor of the Patisserie Marie Claire bakery in a little town of Potts Bottom. When, as an infant, Poppy unexpectedly performs her first bit of magic, her parents, Edith and Roger, know their dream has come true. Their daughter has inherited the family gift.
But as Poppy grows up she isn't as thrilled about her magic talents. Even though she was born into a long line of witches, has inherited the extraordinary gifts from famed Great-Grandmother Mable, and is enrolled at the exclusive Ruthersfield Academy, a school for witchcraft, she wants to be a great baker instead. Making yummy lemon cakes, buttery almond cookies, chocolate melt-aways, and caramel crunch cookies is Poppy's passion - and it makes her happy. Poppy Pendle has no choice but to take matters into her own hands. Whose life is it anyway? she asks.
Natasha Lowe's first novel is charming, effervescent, and wholly original. Let Poppy Pendle into your heart - you'll be glad you did!
Includes 10 kitchen-tested Poppy recipes and baking tips.
I fell in love with Poppy the moment I started reading the novel. She was so endearing - and fastly became one of my favorite children's witch novels.
Poppy has her life planned out - she is going to open her own bakery. Baking is her life, her heart, her soul. While she was born with the extraordinary of witchcraft, it is not where her heart lies. But she is so good at it. Without truly trying she still succeeds at all she does at Ruthersfield Academy, except make friends. The other witches reject her because they do not understand why she loves baking so much, and why she does not love witchcraft.
Poppy does have one friend, Charlie, one who is not a witch and attends the local elementary school. But Poppy's parents do not approve of this friendship; after all, their daughter is a witch and should only play with other witches. How does Poppy make her parents understand that (1) she does not want to be a witch, (2) the other witches make fun of her, (3) baking is her passion, and (4) Charlie accepts her for who she is and what she loves?
This is a tale of being true to one's self, and a cautionary tale to parents to allow their children to grow and follow their own passions, not that of the parents.
I really enjoyed the overall plot of the novel. I mean, witches and baking together? The author is really playing on the success other authors have had with baking novels (especially cupcake ones) as well as witchy reads and brings a nice spin on it. It's one of the reasons I really enjoyed the novel - it was different.
The character development was spot on, with the focus being on Poppy and allowing the minor characters to enhance the plot as well as her character. I thought her friend Charlie was a nice complement, and I found her parents a nice contrast to her as well. While I found her parents frustrating, I do not think this plot would have worked if the parents had been supportive of Poppy's love of baking.
If you've read The Cupcake Diaries or It's Raining Cupcakes, you should definitely add this novel to your pile. Plus...it's October. You're reading pile should be full of witches, goblins, vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc. What a nice break from the traditional storytelling and enjoy a sweet, wonderful ten-year-old who rejects all she was born to do.
Have you read this novel? Do you have a favorite children's witchy read? Comment below and let me know.