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The Magic Cake Shop

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Emma Burblee couldn't be more different from her parents if she tried. She'd rather dig for treasure in a park than try on the latest fashions or discuss her vain parents' favorite subject: themselves. When Emma mortifies her parents at a dinner party, her punishment is immediate. She must spend the summer with her Uncle Simon—a loathsome man with a huge appetite for food Emma Burblee couldn't be more different from her parents if she tried. She'd rather dig for treasure in a park than try on the latest fashions or discuss her vain parents' favorite subject: themselves. When Emma mortifies her parents at a dinner party, her punishment is immediate. She must spend the summer with her Uncle Simon—a loathsome man with a huge appetite for food and get-rich-quick schemes. Although Emma's days revolve around cooking and cleaning, there is one bright spot. Her uncle's sweet tooth means she gets to visit the town bakery, Mr. Crackle's Cake Shop, all the time. This world-renowned baker is as charming and kind as Uncle Simon is vile. But then Emma discovers a plot by Uncle Simon and one of his shady acquaintances; they've set their sights on ruining Mr. Crackle (and the entire dessert making industry for that matter). Can Emma stop their evil plan? First-time author Meika Hashimoto's effervescent tale, filled with funny characters and adventures, will have readers checking their cupboards for mouth-watering ingredients and secret portals.


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Emma Burblee couldn't be more different from her parents if she tried. She'd rather dig for treasure in a park than try on the latest fashions or discuss her vain parents' favorite subject: themselves. When Emma mortifies her parents at a dinner party, her punishment is immediate. She must spend the summer with her Uncle Simon—a loathsome man with a huge appetite for food Emma Burblee couldn't be more different from her parents if she tried. She'd rather dig for treasure in a park than try on the latest fashions or discuss her vain parents' favorite subject: themselves. When Emma mortifies her parents at a dinner party, her punishment is immediate. She must spend the summer with her Uncle Simon—a loathsome man with a huge appetite for food and get-rich-quick schemes. Although Emma's days revolve around cooking and cleaning, there is one bright spot. Her uncle's sweet tooth means she gets to visit the town bakery, Mr. Crackle's Cake Shop, all the time. This world-renowned baker is as charming and kind as Uncle Simon is vile. But then Emma discovers a plot by Uncle Simon and one of his shady acquaintances; they've set their sights on ruining Mr. Crackle (and the entire dessert making industry for that matter). Can Emma stop their evil plan? First-time author Meika Hashimoto's effervescent tale, filled with funny characters and adventures, will have readers checking their cupboards for mouth-watering ingredients and secret portals.

30 review for The Magic Cake Shop

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    The Magic Cake Shop is a story about a little girl who doesn't share the same interests as her parents and through a series of unfortunate events is finally able to pursue her passion. That storyline on its own is fine, but the story itself is very weak, with ridiculous made up words that lack creativity, and confusing comparisons thrown throughout. It almost feels as if the main conflict is a lifestyle choice between borderline anorexic parents who dine on celery for dinner and a child who has The Magic Cake Shop is a story about a little girl who doesn't share the same interests as her parents and through a series of unfortunate events is finally able to pursue her passion. That storyline on its own is fine, but the story itself is very weak, with ridiculous made up words that lack creativity, and confusing comparisons thrown throughout. It almost feels as if the main conflict is a lifestyle choice between borderline anorexic parents who dine on celery for dinner and a child who has a sweet tooth. As someone with freckles and straight brown hair and brown eyes, I found the description of the main character Emma offensive. And I'm not sure I understand how focusing too much on looks and hygiene are related as negative aspects of the character of a person - choosing not to succumb to a fashion trend like plucking ones eyebrows may be considered commendable but failing to take care of ones hygiene like taking baths or brushing ones teeth is disturbing. And what's wrong with wearing pants or eating vegetables? And a 10 year old wearing heels and makeup? I'm not sure of the targeted audience for the book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    2.5. I would rate it higher because I really did enjoy this book, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as my 3 star books. This seemed more of a children's/elementary level book than it did a middle grade novel. There were a lot of made up words and a bit of good-natured silliness, which did make the book a fun read, but lent more to a elementary reader level. The main characters were sweet, and you had no trouble disliking the villains. The outcome was unique and funny. The main character had ter 2.5. I would rate it higher because I really did enjoy this book, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as my 3 star books. This seemed more of a children's/elementary level book than it did a middle grade novel. There were a lot of made up words and a bit of good-natured silliness, which did make the book a fun read, but lent more to a elementary reader level. The main characters were sweet, and you had no trouble disliking the villains. The outcome was unique and funny. The main character had terrible parents, all obsessed with their beauty and wealth and pleased that their plain, average daughter would be getting surgery at age 11 to enhance her face. But they were only in 1/3 of the story. The main character's uncle was Ew. But he.... The villain was taken care of. This was cute for young kids, but a bit simple, silly, and unbelievable for older readers.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ben Phillip

    I'm reading this book primarily to my daughter (though the two boys will listen on occasion) when I put the kids to bed. So far, the characters are not compelling and the parents are just vile. The world in which this book lives is not whimsical enough to inhibit the strange lives of these people. I'm not impressed so far. Update: finally finished this book. A certain climatic action took place at the end of the book and Emma's reaction is not what you would expect from a ten-year-old. Very unbel I'm reading this book primarily to my daughter (though the two boys will listen on occasion) when I put the kids to bed. So far, the characters are not compelling and the parents are just vile. The world in which this book lives is not whimsical enough to inhibit the strange lives of these people. I'm not impressed so far. Update: finally finished this book. A certain climatic action took place at the end of the book and Emma's reaction is not what you would expect from a ten-year-old. Very unbelievable. Overall, this is one of the worst books I have read in a while.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    Ugh. If this is the future of children's books, I'll stick to my classics, thanks. If this is the future of children's books, I shudder for the future of humanity. Most of the adults are gross-out characters or totally stupid, the situations are unpleasant and the ending just silly. The author seemed to really enjoy describing the abusive uncle and his vampire-like friend. Roald Dahl wannabee gets it all terribly wrong. Ugh. Please do not feed this to your child. Ugh. If this is the future of children's books, I'll stick to my classics, thanks. If this is the future of children's books, I shudder for the future of humanity. Most of the adults are gross-out characters or totally stupid, the situations are unpleasant and the ending just silly. The author seemed to really enjoy describing the abusive uncle and his vampire-like friend. Roald Dahl wannabee gets it all terribly wrong. Ugh. Please do not feed this to your child.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Emma Burblee is a no nonsense ten year old who lies to bake and is very weary of her incredibly vain and self-involved parents. Her mother and father don't eat anything but carrots, have 80 step skin care routine, and care more about their business selling expensive hats than they do about Emma. When she disappoints them at her tenth birthday party, she is sent to live with her horrible Uncle Simon, who is a neglectful slob. The bright spot in her day is Mr. Crackle and his fantastic bakery. Whe Emma Burblee is a no nonsense ten year old who lies to bake and is very weary of her incredibly vain and self-involved parents. Her mother and father don't eat anything but carrots, have 80 step skin care routine, and care more about their business selling expensive hats than they do about Emma. When she disappoints them at her tenth birthday party, she is sent to live with her horrible Uncle Simon, who is a neglectful slob. The bright spot in her day is Mr. Crackle and his fantastic bakery. When she finds that her Uncle is in league with a villain who wants to force Mr. Crackle out of business by selling substandard bakery items fortified with "elixir of delight" that will make them irresistible, she has to find a way to stop him. Strengths: The cover is SO pretty! Anything with cakes on the cover will get picked up, and this has an overall decent Roald Dahl/Lemony Snicket vibe to it that younger students might enjoy. Weaknesses: While the extremely vain parents, horrible uncle, and magical baker started out not being too cloying, the level of whimsy got a bit much for me when sentences like "Well, why do't you and Albie plug in the blender and take care of the beans, squid, spleens, legs, sogs, and hegs while I deal with the tree, shick shack shree spizzle, and tea." (page 125) Really? This pushed it right out the middle school arena and down to elementary school for me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rosie

    Over the top characters. Almost all the adults in the story are awful except for the cake shop owner. It's just a very silly one dimensional story. Uncle Simon is a perticularly evil character and a little over the top and not sure if it is really appropriate. He is always talking about killing animals in horrible ways and alludes to beating Emma by saying she will not be able to sit for a week if she doesn't do what he wants. Over the top characters. Almost all the adults in the story are awful except for the cake shop owner. It's just a very silly one dimensional story. Uncle Simon is a perticularly evil character and a little over the top and not sure if it is really appropriate. He is always talking about killing animals in horrible ways and alludes to beating Emma by saying she will not be able to sit for a week if she doesn't do what he wants.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    When I picked this book up I had a completely different idea as to what the plot would be. Every adult in this book, except for Mr. Crackle, were horrible people. Emma's parents were terrible. I also don't understand the targeted audience for this book. I felt like it needed an older audience with some of the situations but based on the pink sparkly cover, it was not at all what I was expecting. When I picked this book up I had a completely different idea as to what the plot would be. Every adult in this book, except for Mr. Crackle, were horrible people. Emma's parents were terrible. I also don't understand the targeted audience for this book. I felt like it needed an older audience with some of the situations but based on the pink sparkly cover, it was not at all what I was expecting.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Temmie

    Would give this 0 stars if I could. Didn't make it off the first page. Would give this 0 stars if I could. Didn't make it off the first page.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rayjan Koehler

    I didn't hate the book- it is a little entertaining I will admit, but I can't bring myself to rate any higher... Other reviewers seemed to not think the characters are any bit believable(namely the parents), but I disagree as I could see people being,so shallow & over-worrying about looks. I get the parents were exaggerated, but I still felt it was a little too much. How even with money could they keep their kid?? Sadly i could see people actually existing with such horrible outlooks on life as E I didn't hate the book- it is a little entertaining I will admit, but I can't bring myself to rate any higher... Other reviewers seemed to not think the characters are any bit believable(namely the parents), but I disagree as I could see people being,so shallow & over-worrying about looks. I get the parents were exaggerated, but I still felt it was a little too much. How even with money could they keep their kid?? Sadly i could see people actually existing with such horrible outlooks on life as Emma's parents. Such shallow people.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kokoro

    DNF - 68/176 (39%) Story and characters are very unbelievable, some adult characters (even Emma’s parents) are evil but in a caricatured way. I am disappointed. A middle grade novel? Really? Creí sería una novelita divertida con toques de gastronomía, pero me topo con una historia donde varios de los adultos que rodean a la protagonista son malos, malos-malosos de caricatura, con situaciones y diálogos sacados del ayer, pareciera la autora escribe para niños de kínder y no para niños de 8 años en DNF - 68/176 (39%) Story and characters are very unbelievable, some adult characters (even Emma’s parents) are evil but in a caricatured way. I am disappointed. A middle grade novel? Really? Creí sería una novelita divertida con toques de gastronomía, pero me topo con una historia donde varios de los adultos que rodean a la protagonista son malos, malos-malosos de caricatura, con situaciones y diálogos sacados del ayer, pareciera la autora escribe para niños de kínder y no para niños de 8 años en adelante.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Buxton

    B-. fiction, children's fiction, grade 4, fantasy, baking, magic, melodrama B-. fiction, children's fiction, grade 4, fantasy, baking, magic, melodrama

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I absolutely adored this book back when I was a kid. I loved everything about it. That said, as I am now older, I recognize that this really isn't that great of a book, but I'm sticking with a five star rating. It's how I felt when I first read The Magic Cake Shop. I absolutely adored this book back when I was a kid. I loved everything about it. That said, as I am now older, I recognize that this really isn't that great of a book, but I'm sticking with a five star rating. It's how I felt when I first read The Magic Cake Shop.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    You would think Emma Burblee has a charmed life as the only daughter of wealthy parents. But her parents are obsessed with appearances and are as shallow as you would think from that. Emma is not allowed to eat sugar or fat, and spends all her spare time reading cookbooks. After her disastrous 10th birthday party, Emma is sent to her uncle's for the summer. And that is where her adventure begins. You would think Emma Burblee has a charmed life as the only daughter of wealthy parents. But her parents are obsessed with appearances and are as shallow as you would think from that. Emma is not allowed to eat sugar or fat, and spends all her spare time reading cookbooks. After her disastrous 10th birthday party, Emma is sent to her uncle's for the summer. And that is where her adventure begins.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    I didn't expect to like this but... I liked this book from the first page! It’s humorous, smart, and quirky. Fast paced and fun to read. The characters are over-the-top, but funny and well described with lots of great detail. The only thing I didn’t like was that the illustrations did nothing to enhance the book, but that is really not a big deal! I would recommend this to kids ages 8-12 who are looking for a fun, well written book. Would make a great “beach read” or vacation book! I didn't expect to like this but... I liked this book from the first page! It’s humorous, smart, and quirky. Fast paced and fun to read. The characters are over-the-top, but funny and well described with lots of great detail. The only thing I didn’t like was that the illustrations did nothing to enhance the book, but that is really not a big deal! I would recommend this to kids ages 8-12 who are looking for a fun, well written book. Would make a great “beach read” or vacation book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Flower

    This book is a very change-like story, and a funny story.One of my favorite part's is when Emma (the Burbles doter)(the rich parents in the story) finds out that living with her uncle Simon (a cruel greedy man in the story) isn't SO BAD.Because there is a cake shop (the same cake shop that is on the front of the book.)that her uncle wants all of his desserts from, has a very nice owner to it, and the owners name is mr. Cracle.that is about This book is a very change-like story, and a funny story.One of my favorite part's is when Emma (the Burbles doter)(the rich parents in the story) finds out that living with her uncle Simon (a cruel greedy man in the story) isn't SO BAD.Because there is a cake shop (the same cake shop that is on the front of the book.)that her uncle wants all of his desserts from, has a very nice owner to it, and the owners name is mr. Cracle.that is about

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I absolutely LOVED this book when I was younger, I loved baking so this book was right up my alley. It's not very mature, what I still absolutely love it! I would recommend this for 6-10 year olds, even though I read it when I was almost 12. I was learning English at the time so yeah. Great book. I recommend it. I absolutely LOVED this book when I was younger, I loved baking so this book was right up my alley. It's not very mature, what I still absolutely love it! I would recommend this for 6-10 year olds, even though I read it when I was almost 12. I was learning English at the time so yeah. Great book. I recommend it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Barton

    This is a great book. It gets a little creepy towards the middle, but it just gets better. I really enjoyed this book it takes place in the middle of nowhere and a cake shop. The main character's uncle is very mean and makes her do chores and cook. The characters in this book are crazy!! If I were you i'd check it out. This is a great book. It gets a little creepy towards the middle, but it just gets better. I really enjoyed this book it takes place in the middle of nowhere and a cake shop. The main character's uncle is very mean and makes her do chores and cook. The characters in this book are crazy!! If I were you i'd check it out.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Eliana

    I loved this book. I read it a long time ago, but all I wanted to do was read it over and over again. It was so good. There was so much mystery, which is one of my favorites. That is why I love this book, along with the "11 Birthdays" series. And it involved cake! Yay! I loved this book. I read it a long time ago, but all I wanted to do was read it over and over again. It was so good. There was so much mystery, which is one of my favorites. That is why I love this book, along with the "11 Birthdays" series. And it involved cake! Yay!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Beautiful cover, nice premise that fell flat for me. Characters are a bit too one dimensional, utterly evil or amazingly magical. It was an okay read aloud for younger kids but this was one I just really did not personally enjoy and I love a well written children's book. Beautiful cover, nice premise that fell flat for me. Characters are a bit too one dimensional, utterly evil or amazingly magical. It was an okay read aloud for younger kids but this was one I just really did not personally enjoy and I love a well written children's book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Topaz Elliott

    Got this for DD, but decided to read it myself, too.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jolene gregel

    child's book but very cute child's book but very cute

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sappy

    The best book ever! A combination of mystery, sadness, baking, adventures, fantasy, all wrapped up into a thousand layer cake, mmm, DEE-licious!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Crys

    This book is as if Dahl and Wonka got together. Instead of bratty children, we have bratty adults, but the reading of it had the feel of a Dahl book. More to come...

  24. 5 out of 5

    The Styling Librarian

    What a delicious book! I'm not so sure how I feel about the conclusion but was quite amused. Can connect with so many other cooking fantasy books. Quite creative bits throughout! What a delicious book! I'm not so sure how I feel about the conclusion but was quite amused. Can connect with so many other cooking fantasy books. Quite creative bits throughout!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Smith

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jasper

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tami Creek

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kayleigh Robinson

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

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