Review Detail

Kids Fiction 255
Sweet, in More Ways Than One!
Overall rating
 
3.5
Plot
 
N/A
Characters
 
N/A
Writing Style
 
N/A
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
The cherry twins turn everything into a competition, and the sundae-making contest is no exception. Each is convinced they will win, but there is one problem: they are attached at the stem. As they work together in practice, however, they help each other overcome fears and push each other to new challenges. With their newfound appreciation for teamwork, they decide to enter the competition together.

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.
Good Points
Good story about sibling competition.

Engaging, whimsical illustrations.
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