Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Maybelle and the Haunted Cupcakes

Maybelle and the Haunted Cupcakes

Katie Speck
Illustrator:  Paul Ratz de Tagyos 
Fiction  Series
For ages 5 to 7
Henry Holt, 2012   ISBN: 978-0805094688

Maybelle the cockroach knows the three Rules that she should live by. She knows that she needs to stay hidden when it is light outside, that she should hide if she is seen, and that she has to avoid human feet at all costs. Unfortunately, knowing these rules does not prevent Maybelle from wishing that her life was different. How wonderful it would be if she didn’t need to scrounge for food, and didn’t need to worry about being seen by Ramona the cat and Mr. and Mrs. Peabody. If only someone “would bring food” to her cozy home under the fridge. In particular Maybelle would love it if someone would bring her one of Mrs. Peabody’s luscious looking frosted cupcakes.

   Then Bernice the picnic ant turns up under the fridge. She has a cold and cannot find her way back to the ant nest where she lives. She is so used to going out to collect food for her queen, that she is determined that she will do the same for Maybelle until her cold has gone. Bernice does not care about the Rules and she heads off to get food.

   Afraid of what will happen next, Maybelle and her friend Henry, who is a flea, watch as Bernice heads across the kitchen floor. Thankfully Mr. and Mrs. Peabody don’t see her, but Ramona the cat starts to wake up just as Bernice finds a chocolate sprinkle. Maybelle and Henry shout at Bernice, telling her to “Come back, Bernice! Fast!” but the poor stuffed up ant can’t find her way back to Maybelle’s home any better than she can find her way back to her own home. Instead she wanders all over the kitchen floor “lost and sneezing.” If Ramona sees her, Bernice might get eaten, and if the Peabodys see her they will surely call the exterminator and every insect in the house, including Maybelle and Henry, will be in danger.

   Readers are going to enjoy reading about Maybelle’s adventures in this delightful title. Once again, she gets into dangerous situations, and once again she has to find a solution quickly before it is too late. Children will find it hard not to worry about Maybelle and her insect friends, they may even find that they are holding their breath as the plucky little cockroach goes from one dangerous situation to another.