March 25, 2013

Mister Dash and the Cupcake Calamity

by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Esperança Melo
Tundra Books
32 pp.
Ages 3-6
March 12, 2013

Mister Dash is back!  The well-mannered pooch from Monica Kulling's Merci Mister Dash! (Tundra, 2011) is still sharing his life with Madame Croissant who has started Cupcakes à Go-Go and using her well-bred (I mean polite; I'm not sure 5 different breeds in one dog would be considered successful breeding) canine for delivery.  And, just as in his first book, Mister Dash must contend with the lovely lady's hurricane of a granddaughter, Daphne.

In Mister Dash and the Cupcake Calamity, Madame Croissant is extending her cupcake baking enterprise into North America.  Using a well-used van and custom-made paniers for Mister Dash, the lusciously-decorated cupcake treats would be delivered très rapide! Though he's not thrilled to be in his new outfit, Mister Dash is nothing but accommodating and loyal, helping his mistress as he can (although when the van breaks down, he holds some hope for a reprise).

But Mister Dash cannot evade the enthusiastic flurry of Daphne, Madame's granddaughter, though he does try to slip out in a very clever disguise.  Sadly, even Madame cannot keep Daphne from creating havoc in the kitchen, while baking, and even on delivery.  But Mister Dash, the ever clever companion, comes to the rescue when the delivery of five hundred cupcakes to the mayor's house is in danger of being trashed.

Monica Kulling gives such sweet voice to Mister Dash who questions, ponders and evaluates before springing to action as needed. He is responsible, faithful, and has a flair for picking up the pieces (as well as flour, dough and cupcakes) after things go awry.  He is the embodiment of chivalry, albeit in a canine form, made all the softer for Esperança Melo's warm acrylic paintings.  Daphne may be a smiling bull in a china shop, and Madame Croissant the Julia Child of the fashionable baking set but Mister Dash is Sir Galahad:  courageous (you'd have to be to ride in the van driven by Madame Croissant), gentle and polite. The story is smooth, sweet and sparkles with goodness, not unlike Madame Croissant's cupcakes. A tasty treat, to be sure.

1 comment:

  1. I love Monica Kulling so I can't wait for this one! It reminds me of The French Fry King which I also loved.