Dessert Schneider has her very own personal style. But sometimes walking to the beat of her own drum means walking right into a heap of mischief, especially when it comes to the legendary family recipe (and Dessert's all-time favorite treat), Grandma Reine's Double-Decker Chocolate Bars. As the oldest in a rambunctious, restaurant-owning family, with a four-year-old sister who is going through a “phase” and two little brothers called “the Beasties,” Dessert seems to be better at getting into trouble than getting out of it. And that's because for this eight-year-old, saying sorry is definitely not a piece o'cake!
As might be expected from her name alone, Dessert, the spunky narrator of this refreshing debut, takes to heart her third-grade teacher's advice to march to one's own drummer. First on Dessert's agenda: getting to eat dessert before dinner ("Mummy and Daddy, in a perfect world, dessert comes before supper. My body is calling for dessert first"). Durand displays a knack for comedic timing in a sequence in which Dessert discovers a box of Double-Decker Chocolate Bars and, despite her mother's warnings ("Stay away from the Double-Ds"), she samples (and finishes) the treats over several visits to the fridge. Her voice rings as true in somber moments. After a climactic scene in which the empty box is discovered (with much howling by both mother and daughter), a remorseful Dessert asks her teacher, Mrs. Howdy Doody, how she can make amends. When the teacher responds, "Try to think like you usually do," Dessert laments, "That's how I got into trouble." Davenier's (the Iris and Walter series) humorous b&w pictures ably convey this endearing heroine's mercurial moods. Readers will be left craving a second helping. Ages 7 10.