The first book in the Finley Flowers series gets things off to a great start. Finley's story has all the right ingredients: a creative and energetic main character, her intelligent and supportive best friend, understanding parents, a precocious younger sister, and an older brother that is actually kind of cool. Finley is a rock star with arts and crafts, but she still can't think of what to give her best bud Henry for his birthday. When she decides to enter the school's cook-off and win a year's supply of free pizza for him, Finley is convinced her plan will work. As it turns out, making a delicious and original recipe is harder than one might think. As the days to the contest dwindle, will the friends be able to make a Fin-tastic and Hen-sational new dish?
Author Jessica Young knows how to appeal to young readers, due in large part to her experience as a teacher. She has also done many school visits with her picture book, My Blue Is Happy, and talked to tons of students about what they think is important in a good story. She's taken all that and whipped up the perfect recipe for early chapter book readers with this series about Finley and her friends and family. The illustrations by Jessica Scheret capture Finley's verve and personality, as well as her affectionate relationship with Henry. If you know some elementary age readers who enjoy stories of friendship, trying new things, and being creative - you should steer them toward this book. They are sure to be begging for a second helping!
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
P.S. The recipes at the back of the book are a great garnish for the story. :-)