For this pair of twin cherries, everything is a competition. If Girl Cherry can swing higher, Boy Cherry will boast that he can swing lower. If one is smarter, then the other is cooler. So when they enter a contest to build the best dessert ever, they immediately pit themselves against each other. But when you’re attached at the stem, there’s only so much you can do on your own. Things could be easy as pie—so to speak—if they put aside their differences and join forces. Will Boy Cherry and Girl Cherry cream the competition by working together…or will one try to be the cherry on top?
With loveable characters and laugh-out-loud situations, Sweet Competition is the perfect addition to any child’s bookshelf. After all, there’s always room for dessert!
Filled with dessert-themed puns, Sweet Competition conveys a simple but important lesson about teamwork. I liked how each twin was able to use their specific strength to help the other. I also liked the use of cherries as twins because their literal connection through the stem emphasized how close their relationship truly is. I did think the story arc could have been better paced, that the moment of greatest emotional weight (should the twins separate so they can compete separately?) came too soon and that the resolution of the sundae competition itself was handled too summarily, over as soon as it started.
In addition to the theme of competition, children will be drawn to the bright and colorful illustrations. The Reeds’ photographs of their clay characters are memorable and whimsical. I did find the disembodied and smiley ice cream scoops slightly creepy. I think this was because the character selling the twins ice cream is himself a giant ice cream cone, and the question of confectionary cannibalism surfaced several times. On the whole, though, the simple and happy images reflect the story they illustrate.
Though I wouldn’t call this a “must-read,” I could see it being enjoyed by young children. From a pedagogical perspective, this would be a good book for preschoolers struggling with competition, especially with those they feel “tied” to, like siblings. It could also be a useful book to discuss different media used to illustrate books and could lead to some creative story extenders.
Engaging, whimsical illustrations.