When Archie was born, the doctor held him up by the leg and gave him a ‘light slap on the butt’ to see if he was alive! At this, little Archie’s hand began tingling with anger and he immediately shot out one tiny chocolate cupcake into the doctor’s face.
The main character – Archie Cunningham – is quite an amazing little boy who has the supernatural talent of creating sweet treats from the palms of his hands. His parents are mean and greedy, wanting only to capitalise on this strange talent by selling the cupcakes and building their fortune. Archie’s selfish mother is particularly detestable – she will do anything to get as many of Archie’s products into her mouth as possible with little or no regard for Archie.
However when a video of his incredible cup-cake making ability goes viral, he is head-hunted by certain powers behind a research and political centre. He fast becomes the recipe in a plan they have for world domination.
I enjoyed this book for its humour and lively writing style. It was fast paced enough to whip through and would be enjoyed by both accomplished and reluctant readers. It is true that there is not a great deal of character development in the story though. The book has been compared to the literary works of Roald Dahl and Andy Griffiths but I would say it doesn’t quite make it to that level because the humour, whilst amusing, is not really subversive in any way and the story isn’t as captivating as Dahl or Griffiths. Having said that, a great deal was packed into one book and the ideas behind it are quirky and refreshing.
A former children’s librarian, Jane Fagan is currently a full-time wife and mother of two.