For eleven years in a row, John Applefeller has entered his highly original apple desserts in The Worldwide Dessert Contest. And every year he's watched his delectable treats turn into disasters while the evil Sylvester Sweet wins first prize. But this year, when John's greatest creation, the world's largest pancake, flops, he and his sidekicks decide to seek help from the king of dessert chefs, the magical Captain B. Rollie Ragoon.
A little bit of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with a dash of Homer Price's donut maker, this novel pays homage to the longstanding rapport between children and sweets. John Apple longs to win the Worldwide Dessert Contest, but all his delicious desserts have a penchant for changing into something else at the last minute. The way he overcomes this difficulty and takes first place involves a search for the greatest chef in the world, the defeat of the thieving title-holder of the contest and a run-in with a judge who has, thanks to John, a caramel apple bonded to his cheek from their last encounter. Elish writes with a sure hand of this sugary world, his tongue squarely in the area of his sweet tooth. For his ability to praise desserts in an endlessly original fashion, he deserves a blue ribbon. A Richard Jackson Book. Ages 9-11.