REVIEW: ‘Yummy: A History of Desserts’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Yummy A History of Desserts - But Why Tho

Yummy: A History of Desserts is a children’s graphic novel by Victoria Grace Elliott published by Random House Graphic. Starring the sprites Peri, Fee, and Fada, you’ll laugh and learn through space and time-trotting stories of some of the world’s most famous and delicious desserts.

Yummy: A History of Desserts is an absolute delight. It combines comedy and engaging storytelling with history, geography, recipes, and so much more about some of the world’s favorite desserts, including ice cream, cake, brownies, donuts, pie, gummies, cookies, and macrons. Each chapter begins with an abridged atlas of where in the world each part of the story takes place, a perfect start for any kid (like me) obsessed with maps, and continues with storytimes, scientific explanations, and interviews with “special guests.” Each segment is adorably presented, smartly written, and crafted just right to be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

It’s honestly incredible how much this book squeezes into only so many pages. Not only are there eight different chapters, but each feels jam-packed with content. They’re dense and thick and rich, with many more dessert-related adjectives as well. Perhaps my favorite part is that each chapter fits in a ton of examples of different versions of the dessert from around the world and across time, from African mandazi to Eastern European Jewish sufganiyot to Indian gulab jamun to Japanese-American mochi ice cream. There’s constantly something new to learn from other world cultures, and each example will leave you thrilled to try them all.

Most impressively, perhaps is the book’s ability to turn every moment into a story. Similar books can tend just to turn whole pages into recipes and forget about their internal plot or dialogues. But in Yummy: A History of Dessertsevery scientific explanation, walkthrough of a recipe, or history of a particular ingredient is shared through a single continuous story that feels almost like a variety show act between three friends. It’s a very engrossing way of sharing all of the book’s great details because while I’m already invested in the overall ongoings of the sprites, they can simply lead me to any new story or segment they want without skipping a beat.

The art is absolutely adorable. The bright and bubbly colors and characters feel like they simply belong in a world of desserts. Every dessert looks delectable, and every costume change by the sprites transports you to a different place and time. The different styles used to depict histories gives a great variation to the usual color scheme and art style. The only thing I must say is that the segments and art style get a tad repetitive after a while. Still, the book is best enjoyed by savoring one chapter at a time, or even a few segments at a time anyway. So when read over a more extended period, the segments feel less repetitive and more like fun returns, especially when your favorite segments come back again.

Yummy: A History of Desserts is a smartly crafted, adorably illustrated, wonderfully rich introduction to eight globally beloved deserts. It pays enormous respect to the people and cultures central to each story (or whose cultures were appropriated along the way) and never misses a chance to teach the reader something new, no matter their age.

Yummy: A History of Desserts is available wherever graphic novels are sold, including our Bookshop.org affiliate link.


Yummy: A History of Desserts
5

TL;DR

Yummy: A History of Desserts is a smartly crafted, adorably illustrated, wonderfully rich introduction to eight globally beloved deserts. It pays enormous respect to the people and cultures central to each story (or whose cultures were appropriated along the way) and never misses a chance to teach the reader something new, no matter their age.