Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood
Luckily, the story was just as scrumptious as the cover design.
BLISS (2012, Katherine Tegen Books) is the story of a family of magical bakers whose last name is Bliss. Rosemary (Rose to her friends) and her siblings ... wait for it ... Thyme (Ty), Sage and Parsley (Leigh) ... work in their parents' bakery in the small town of Calamity Falls. Rose knows the delicious treats her parents whip up do more than tantalize taste buds. Because her parents are no ordinary bakers. They do magic in the kitchen. Literally.
The family's secret Cookery Booke, passed down through the generations, has recipes you won't find on the Food Channel. There seems to be a recipe to cure anything that ails the town -- from locating missing things to soothing sore throats to rescuing kids from a well. After so many years of Bliss bakery goods, Calamity Falls doesn't have much calamity in it.
But when the Bliss parentals are called out of town, Rose and her siblings are supposed to keep an eye on the bakery, charged with keeping the family secret under wraps. Not long after their departure, the mysterious "aunt" Lily arrives to stir things up a bit. She's glamorous, intriguing, and seems to know her way around a magical recipe or two as well. Only, she might have too much of an interest in the Bliss bakery ... and its secrets.
She does seem to understand that Rose feels inadequate compared to good-looking Ty, funny Sage and adorable Leigh. And even though Lily is stunning, she doesn't find Rose as plain and invisible as Rose finds herself. Lily also seems to understand how much Rose aches to try out some of the magical recipes. It isn't long before Rose finds herself in trouble she just might have to bake herself out of.
Middle grade readers with a sweet tooth for magical mischief will savor this delightful, culinary adventure, identifying with Rose and her desire to be special in a family with extraordinary gifts. It reminded me a little bit of SAVVY by Ingrid Law (another of my favorite middle grade books). Here's hoping for a second course of the Bliss Bakery.