KidLit Book Review: Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano


Leonora Logroño’s family owns the most beloved bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, spending their days conjuring delicious cookies and cakes for any occasion. And no occasion is more important than the annual Día de los Muertos festival.

Leo hopes that this might be the year that she gets to help prepare for the big celebration — but, once again, she is told she’s too young. Sneaking out of school and down to the bakery, she discovers that her mother, aunt, and four older sisters have in fact been keeping a big secret: they’re brujas — witches of Mexican ancestry — who pour a little bit of sweet magic into everything that they bake.

Leo knows that she has magical ability as well and is more determined than ever to join the family business — even if she can’t let her mama and hermanas know about it yet.

And when her best friend, Caroline, has a problem that needs solving, Leo has the perfect opportunity to try out her craft. It’s just one little spell, after all…what could possibly go wrong?


  • Title: Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble
  • Series: Love Sugar Magic, Book 1
  • Author: Anna Meriano
  • Illustrator: Mirelle Ortega
  • Cover Artists: Sarah Nichole Kaufman, design; Mirelle Ortega, illustration
  • Publisher: Walden Pond Press
  • ISBN: 0062498460
  • Publication Date: January 2, 2018
  • For Ages: 8-12
  • Category: Middle Grade
  • Spooky-Scary or Spooky-Fun? 🎃 Fun.


I’ve been struggling mightily with this review because the only way I can adequately convey the ineffable joy and warmth of Anna Meriano’s story is to hand you the book and let you discover its wonders on your own. But since I can’t afford to buy all of you a copy of this delightful book, I’ll do my best to convince you to buy, borrow, or check out a copy for yourself.

Leo Logroño is a sweet and curious eleven-year-old. As the youngest of five sisters, she constantly feels left out and babied by her family. When she’s excluded from a gathering at her family’s bakery — Amor y Azúcar Panadería (Love and Sugar Bakery) — she sneaks in to spy on her mother, aunt, and sisters to find out what secrets they’re hiding from her. To Leo’s shock and delight, she discovers that she belongs to a family of brujas. Though Leo isn’t supposed to practice magic yet, she just can’t help herself; armed with the revelation about her magical destiny and a stolen spellbook, Leo begins practicing in secret with increasingly unpredictable and hilarious results.

The warmth, love, and sweetness of this book wrap around you like your favorite blanket, making you feel peacefully at home in a way that few books do. It’s an #ownvoices story that will speak to Latinxs (Mexican-Americans in particular) and a universal story that will speak to kids who long to grow up and be included. Filled with humor, joy, and wonder, Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble is the perfect beginning to a sweet middle grade series about the bonds of love and family. Anyone looking for a little magic in their lives will find it here.


This book is perfection. I give it 5 out of 5 coffins.

5 Coffins

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