________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 26. . . .March 8, 2013


Mister Dash and the Cupcake Calamity.

Monica Kulling.
Illustrated by Esperança Melo.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2013.
32 pp., hardcover & EPUB, $19.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-77049-396-4 (hc.),
ISBN 978-1-77049-402-2 (EPUB).

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Myra Junyk.

*** /4



Madame Croissant had a secret cupcake recipe. Croissant cupcakes were famous all over Europe, especially in France. She wanted them to be famous in North America too.

So Madame Croissant bought a third-hand van and painted Cupcakes à Go-Go on the side. She sewed a baker’s hat for her well-mannered dog, Mister Dash, along with saddlebags for carrying the boxed treats. Then she baked and she baked.

"Mister Dash, you are now my delivery dog!" announced Madame Croissant.


Madame Croissant's grand plan for making her cupcakes famous in North America includes her trusty dog Mister Dash. Dash is not thrilled about wearing saddlebags and carrying boxes in his mouth as the official "delivery dog", but since he is a loyal animal "made up of five different breeds", he does not complain. Their initial efforts are dubious as Madame runs into a stop sign, and the decrepit van stalls on the road. However, a female mechanic soon gets them back on the road.

      The real test comes on baking day when Madame's exuberant granddaughter, Daphne, arrives. Mayor Chester Field has given Madame a huge order for five hundred cupcakes. Daphne and Mister Dash must help out to complete the order! Daphne tries sifting, measuring and even mixing the dough. However, her excessive energy causes problems. Patient and loyal, Mister Dash must solve these problems! After an exhausting baking day, the three tired workers rush to deliver the cupcakes to the Mayor. As Dash sleeps peacefully in the van, the boxes shift, threatening to destroy all the cupcakes! Once more, Mister Dash comes to the rescue by restacking all the boxes and saving all the cupcakes. In the end, Madame Croissant, Daphne and Mister Dash make the day a great success, and soon Madame’s cupcakes are "the talk of the town".

      Monica Kulling's lovable characters from Merci Mister Dash have returned for another hilarious tale. This time, Daphne and her grandmother are busy preparing cupcakes to impress the Mayor. Madame Croissant hopes to make a good impression with her delectable baking. Madame is a hard-working and ambitious baker who relies on her trusty dog, Mister Dash, to help her. Daphne, her irrepressible granddaughter, tries to be helpful, but she manages to create a mess in the kitchen whenever she starts "working". Mister Dash, though, is remarkably talented and very patient with the excitable Daphne. He can always be relied upon to save the day!

      Esperança Melo's vibrant and colourful illustrations add lots of interesting detail to the text. We see the beautiful cupcake masterpieces that Madame Croissant produces. We see Mister Dash holding on to the dashboard as Madame cruises along in her decrepit van. Daphne's wild bright red hair reflects her vibrant personality.

      The vocabulary of this picture book is very accessible to young readers. The interesting and ironic name choices, such as Madame Croissant and Mayor Chester Field, will spark conversation. In a classroom environment, this book would be a great tool for discussing concepts such as co-operation, patience, loyalty, cooking, planning and business organization. Readers of all ages will enjoy Monica Kulling's new picture book Mister Dash and the Cupcake Calamity because it is a fun read!


Myra Junyk is a Toronto, ON, literacy advocate and author.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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