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  • Writer's pictureHannah Zunic

90's Nostalgia: A Review of Cupid Doesn't Flip Hamburgers by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones

Updated: Feb 9, 2023

Hello, Book Nerds! Welcome back to Reading Has Ruined My Life or welcome if you are new. As always, my name is Hannah and I am your captain on this journey into my bookcases.

Bears waving.
How's it going today, Book Nerds?

Happy Valentine’s Day, Book Nerds. Am I the first person to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day? I bet I am, there’s still a week before V-Day. But still, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Animated pixel hearts.

So last week, I gave a ranking of some of the best literary couples of all time. This week, I have a new review for all of ya. No, it is not romance. I have no new romance novels at this time. But I do have something very Valentine’s Day themed. 90’s and 2000’s kids, let me take you on a journey back to your childhood.

Raise your hand if you remember reading or ever seeing The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids? For those whose memory I have not jogged, The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids is a little supernatural mystery series which follows four best friends who believe their town is overrun with monsters and creatures. I remember finding this series tucked away in my elementary school’s library and reading most of what was there. I also vividly remember Dracula Doesn’t Drink Lemonade and Werewolves Don’t Go To Summer Camp. But I’m not talking about either of those titles today. Nay, nay. Instead I found another well-known entry of the series. I found Cupid Doesn’t Flip Hamburgers. And I still want one of those giant, heart-shaped sugar cookies Cupid gave the kids.

Book cover of Cupid Doesn't Flip Hamburgers by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thorton Jones.
Who remembers this blast from the past?

I remember reading this one way back in the 2000’s. And it just feels very fitting to review this week. Also I did some really cute Valentine’s Day makeup inspired by Cupid Doesn’t Flip Hamburgers.

Makeup inspired by Cupid Doesn't Flip Hamburgers.

Remember to follow RHRML on Twitter and Instagram, at @RHRMLBlog and @ReadingHasRuinedMyLife respectively, to see my makeup looks there first. You’ll also see what I’m currently reading, what I might be reviewing, and some memes; we have fun there.

Anyway, onto the review! As always, a spoiler alert is in order. You’ve been warned!

Eddie, Howie, Liza, and Melody attend Bailey Elementary School. A school where things are not always as they seem. All the adults these four meet are…off. For example, their teacher, Mrs. Jeepers, is very pale, has a Transylvanian accent, is very intimidating, and has a brooch that makes people do as she says; yep, she’s totally a vampire. All the kids think so. Everyone is scared of her, but this isn’t Mrs. Jeepers story. This is Cupid’s story.

Dog dressed as Cupid.

It's the week of Valentine’s Day and Bailey Elementary has a new lunch lady. Her name is Mrs. Rosenbloom and she’s one of those awesome lunch ladies who makes sure kids have enough to eat, have delicious snacks, always has a smile on her face, and is a joy to be around. She’s literally the best. She makes cookies from scratch and even decorates the lunchroom so it looks like Valentine’s Day exploded there. This woman is awesome!

But this is Bailey Elementary and Mrs. Rosenbloom is sus. Eddie in particular is very suspicious of the new lunch lady. He doesn’t trust her, and he knows she’s up to something. That something being giving out cookies and pins which are actually love potions! No one believes him, not even his besties, until the unthinkable happens. Melody and Liza eat the love potion cookies! Even worse, these two best friends are fighting over Howie. It’s up to Eddie and Howie to figure out how to stop the madness and make everyone go back to normal.

Oh my, what to say about this charming little piece of nostalgia? Obviously, I remember them being better as a kid than I do now. There’s nothing wrong from an editorial standpoint, these books are made for young kids and I am just far from that. The story is simplistic, formulaic, the kids figure things out pretty quickly, and there’s no true tension. But again, this is a chapter book for children under the age of ten. If I want to be nit-picky I could say the ending was wrapped up far too quickly. Seriously, the wrap up takes maybe a full page before the book ends. But again, I have to look at this from the standpoint of a child, and it’s a satisfying ending for the target audience.

Elmo shrugging.
Even as an adult I found this read to be enjoyable, even if purely for the nostalgia.

What I do appreciate about this series, especially as an adult, is the fact this series doesn’t firmly plant a flag in if everything is supernatural or not. The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids always flits around giving a confident yes or no answer when it comes to this question. Sometimes the series leans towards everything being a strange coincidence and kids have very active imaginations. Like maybe Mrs. Jeepers seems different because she comes from a different culture. Or maybe the camp counselor is just a hippy with a man bun and beard and is probably sneaking off into the woods at night to drink beer. Sometimes, like in the case of Cupid Doesn’t Flip Hamburgers, things do lean harder in the supernatural direction cause not everything can be explained away. Love the grey space this series has created. Love that arguments can be made in either direction and leave readers to come up with their own conclusions.

Kermit clapping.
I love when books are like this!

What I’m not a fan of is the 1990’s body shamming. I recognize this book was written in 1995, not 2023, but I feel like bringing it up cause it’s not cool. Justice for Mrs. Rosenbloom! All the kids, specifically Eddie, bring up her weight for no reason whatsoever. Eddie uses Mrs. Rosenbloom’s weight as the main reason why she’s Cupid, I don’t know why but that’s what happens, and I hate it.

Chrissy Teigen cringe face.

It should be noted that this book includes illustrations and every time Mrs. Rosenbloom is shown she is depicted as very beautiful. She is a lovely lady! She did not deserve what these four kids did to her, she leaves her job because of these kids, and she did not deserve the body shamming. Justice for Mrs. Rosenbloom! Can I please have one of those giant sugar cookies now?

As I sit here and think of what I wish to say next, I keep coming back to one thought: damn, my love of the supernatural probably started with these books. Yes, I feel that I can trace my enjoyment of supernatural things and spooky books back to The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids. While the series does not hit as hard as it did in the past, I enjoyed getting to jump into the nostalgia pool this week.

With that, I shall bid you all adieu. Thank you for joining me this week. I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and get lots of half-off chocolate on the 15th. I shall return next week with another great review.

Until then, stay safe, wash your hands, and read some good books for me.

Bears waving.
See y'all next week, bye!


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