Saturday, January 14, 2012

Book Review: The Worldwide Dessert Contest by Dan Elish

The Worldwide Dessert Contest: The Enhanced Multimedia Edition
Author: Dan Elish
Publication: Alina Adams Media (September 17, 2011)

Description: What's funnier than a pie in the sky? A pie in the face!

How the pie gets there - along with three other pies flying in V formation during the twelfth annual Worldwide Dessert Contest - is a double scoop of a story. 

It begins with John Applefeller, the annual last-place finisher in the celebrated event that every July draws hundreds of international dessert chefs to compete for the coveted Silver Spoon (and to compete against Sylvester S. Sweet, the self-proclaimed King of Dessert, who always wins). 

There's something fishy about Sweet's success, but only Josiah Benson, the Worldwide Dessert Contest janitor, seems to know what's up. And who listens to him? Certainly not the four judges, experts on ice cream, sugar, cakes, and dessert history. 

Stanley listens, Applefeller's ten year old assistant, who has helped his boss with his newest and most original contest entry - the world's largest apple pancake. If it weren't for Stanley, Applefeller - and you - would never journey in an apple-souffle balloon to the island of Iambia, or meet Captain B. Rollie Ragoon, the dessert-making genius who has his own reasons for suspecting Sweet of sour deeds, or discover how important heart is to winning.

"The Worldwide Dessert Contest: Enhanced Multimedia Edition" features all the text of the 1998 Orchard Books release, as well an original musical score from the play that the book inspired. Read the story, then click on a link to listen to the companion songs in this cutting edge, one of a kind, 21st Century children's fantasy novel from Alina Adams Media!

My Thoughts: This was a story about sticking to your dreams no matter what obstacles might be in your way. John Applefeller had plenty of obstacles. His apple desserts kept turning into other things like apple french toast became knee pads used by the Olympics teams, his apple souffle became a hot air balloon, and his apple pancake became a great trampoline. He has come in last at the Worldwide Dessert Contest ten years in a row. Only his belief in the importance of desserts and the support of his young friend Stanley keep him going. Oh, and he would also like to win the Silver Spoon trophy.

All of the characters were quirky from the judge who invented sugars and could identify the sugars in each dessert with just a taste to the judge who had one of Applefeller's failures - a caramel apple that turned to a glue - stuck to his face (which, by the way, I found really disturbing because of my personal horror at having things stuck to me). 

The villain of the piece is Sylvester S. Sweet who had an ego that will not quit and a very shifty nature. He has won the contest ten years in a row with a dessert called double-chocolate-fudge-raspberry-coconut-lime swirl. No one knows that he stole the recipe from Captain B. Rollie Ragoon.

Even Applefeller's supporters were quirky. Josiah Benson, the janitor at the apple festival,  used a huge variety of weird metaphors and similes 
"Well, cover me with lettuce and throw me to the rabbits!" Benson exclaimed, pulling on his beard with short frantic tugs. "It's beautiful! As beautiful as a flock of skippin' horsetoads!"
Applefeller's other main supporter Captain B. Rollie Ragoon took his dessert making genius to the island of Iambia and now he only speaks in rhyme. The only characters in the book who even approach normal are Applefeller and his young companion Stanley.

This was a over-the-top silly story that reminded me of Roald Dahl at his quirkiest. I had a chance to read this multimedia edition which was enhanced by songs from the musical that the author wrote.  The songs were cute and did enhance the experience. I recommend this one for fans of "silly" and for those who like Roald Dahl.

Favorite Quote:
"Thank you for your support, Stanley," Applefeller said, "but it seems I've let you down. Sylvester Sweet is right! I'm a has-been!"

"No, you're not a has-been, sir! You're a not-yet!"
I received this book for review from Alina Adams Media. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

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