Koch, Falynn. Bake Like a Pro!. Falynn Koch, Illus. Graphic novel. Maker Comics Series. First Second, 02/2019. 128pp. PB $12.99. 978-1-250-15006-6. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 3-7.
A new line of instructional comics focused on the maker movement, Bake Like a Pro! by Falynn Koch introduces the chemistry of baking to young readers. As one of the first titles in the Maker Comics series, this graphic novel begins with a loosely established setting and story; readers are introduced to Sage, a young wizard in training, and her new instructor, Wizard Korian, an alchemist and baking master, who work together to learn the science behind the magic of baking. Throughout, Koch does an outstanding job of integrating scientific facts and highlighting step-by-step processes while also introducing readers to traditional baking techniques and vocabulary, alternative methods to support dietary restrictions, and substitutions for hard-to-find tools and ingredients. Such hard facts are well-balanced with the book’s colorful, animation-inspired artwork that warms each page. Further, by anthropomorphizing the ingredients and tools of the kitchen, allowing them to smile, talk, and even crack jokes, Koch renders the learning process accessible and entertaining. Lastly, this comic also includes a safety warning and comprehensive back matter which includes recipes for featured foods, conversion charts, and instructional cards for techniques and substitutions, giving new bakers everything they need to get started.
Diana Learned, San Jose Public Library