Cupcake Diaries: Emma on Thin Icing, by Coco Simon

As was the case with Charlie’s adventures–highlighted in my last MMGM–I picked up Emma on Thin Icing for research, because I wanted to better acquaint myself with what was happening at the younger end of the middle grade spectrum. I was surprised to find myself really enjoying the story on a personal level!

Cover Emma on Thin Icing

In this story, which is #3 in the cupcake diaries, Emma is thrilled to learn that she and the other cupcake clubbers have been asked to be junior bridesmaids, at their friend/member Mia’s mom’s wedding. However, she’s not sure she’ll be able to cough up the dough for the bridesmaid dress, given that it’s $250. She doesn’t want to ask her parents for the money because she knows how tight things have been since her mom was furloughed from her job at the library. She doesn’t even want to tell them what the dress costs. And so, by herself, she sets about earning the needed cash. She has a jump start on the money, because she was already saving up for a new mixer. As sources of income she has the cupcake club, and she has her dog walking. Plus, she’s very organized and good with numbers. So it should be doable, right?

The catch is that she’s also babysitting her little brother, since her mom is working a crappy job in the afternoons and evenings. She also has commitments to her friends and the club, since she can’t simply take and take, without putting in. And perhaps just as importantly, life rarely goes according to plan–even when you’re a champion organizer.

The conclusion won’t come as any surprise to mature readers! Emma makes a mighty effort, but in the end she can’t pull it off by herself. I love that she needed help to get there, but also love the beautiful qualities that the book illustrates in Emma on the way. She wants desperately to be dependable, someone her parents can count on. She has faith in her own organizational skills, and is very good at getting the most out of her time. She’s not intimidated by big goals. She’s (generally) able to take a deep breath and try again when she flops. While the down sides or vulnerabilities of these strengths are well shown, I love that this slim little book holds these positive qualities up to readers and shows them what they can do, too.

But let’s see what Apricto-kitty thought of it:

Apricot half angry direct put down“Waay too many dogs, behaving with precisely the decorum and intelligence one expects from a dog. On the other hand, the girl may be on to something with her idea of mixing bacon with cupcakes. As you know, I like a bit of the sweet stuff, myself, and of course I’d hardly be a cat if I didn’t like bacon. Why don’t you get on that?”




I have to agree with Apricot-kitty on this one–bacon cupcakes at first sounded disgusting, but by the end of the book the description had me dying for a sample! I’ve decided to try making some myself, maybe even for Halloween if I can get my family on board! Here’s a maple bacon cupcake recipe that should be pretty similar to the ones in the book, and here’s one with chocolate bacon cupcakes, because chocolate. 😉

What’s the weirdest treat you’ve been tempted to try? And did you like it? Tell me in the comments!

For more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday spotlights, interviews, reviews and giveaways stop by Shannon Messenger’s blog, and happy reading!


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