By Maureen Tai, 15 April 2018
“I’m in a baking rut. I got up early to make a new recipe but I just made a mess. I wish I could make something besides the usual baked goods.” – Cupcake
Several years ago at a writers convention, I discovered that a charmingly soft-spoken children’s book historian (I’ll call him Mr. M) and I shared a common love – reading comics and graphic novels.
We talked excitedly about the comics of the past – Beano, Dandy and Richie Rich – and the exciting graphic novelists of the present – Kazu Kibuishi, Raina Telgemeier and the incomparable Shaun Tan. In an embarrassing flash of hindsight, it was probably me who gushed excitedly while Mr. M – whom I found out afterwards is one of the world’s pre-eminent authorities on children’s books – kindly indulged me. Bake Sale was his parting recommendation, and Sara Varon’s endearing novel found a home in my library not long after that chance encounter.