Thursday, February 5, 2015

Review: Original Recipe by Jessica Young

Finley's best friend Henry is about to turn nine, and Finley has a major problem: she has no idea what to give him for his birthday. He already owns all of her best creations! The school cook-off might be the perfect solution. The grand prize is a year's worth of Flying Pie Pizza, Henry's favorite. But coming up with something original and tasty is harder than it looks. As one crazy concoction leads to another, Finley discovers that cooking is just like the rest of life - things don't always turn out as planned and that friendship is the real prize.
For ages 6-8. From the Finley Flowers series.
*Fun, quirky stories for creative readers interested in arts and crafts
*Strong female protagonist
*Strong cross-gender friendship and family relationships
*Teaches creativity, problem-solving, and thinking outside the box
*Great for readers interested in learning about nature and the outdoors
*Teaches dealing with a bully/rival in a positive way

As a fan of reality cooking shows and documentaries, I couldn't resist this book.

In Original Recipe, Finley's best friend Henry's birthday is coming up and Finley comes up with the perfect birthday gift. The prize for winning the school cook-off is a year's supply of Henry's favorite pizza. The cook-off calls for the best original recipe and Finley understands it to mean something that's completely different from anything that people expect. However, though she has a knack for the arts, coming up with recipes doesn't come easy for Finley. Can she still win the cook-off?

I liked this book a lot. It showed the reality of how difficult it is to come up with original recipes, especially if you don't really know much about cooking. Reading this also made me kind of hungry and I felt the urge to go on Pinterest and find some recipes to cook.

The story was cute and funny, but I'm glad that the ending was slightly different from what I thought it would be. The ending wasn't cliche but it was still heartwarming and put a smile on my face.

As for the characters, I actually liked Henry more than Finley. Henry and I have the same philosophy when it comes to cooking. He likes to make corny jokes, too, which I found sweet.

If Henry is the brains in their friendship, then Finley is the heart. She means well, but it feels like sometimes she doesn't think things through.

Overall, the book was interesting and will appeal even to kids who don't like to cook.

Thanks to NetGalley and Picture Window Books for the e-ARC.


  1. The story is sweet and funny.
  2. It's easy to care about the characters.
  3. Kids can recreate a couple of the things Finley and Henry cooked. 


  1. Finley sometimes doesn't think things through and relies too much on instinct. 


  1. Your child dreams of becoming a chef.
  2. Your child likes to experiment in the kitchen.
  3. Your child likes reading funny books that have lessons too. 




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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