Reader Reviewed The Songbird Cafe Girls Mollie Cinnamon is Not a Cupcake by Sarah Webb

The Songbird Cafe Girls Mollie Cinnamon is Not a Cupcake

Written by Sarah Webb

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

March 15 Book of the Month When her TV presenter mum flies off to Australia for two months, thirteen year old Mollie is sent to stay with the great-grandma she hardly knows on the tiny island of Little Bird. She feels like Dorothy landing in Oz, everything is totally different to what she knows. Though she gets off to a bad start, making an enemy of one of the few other girls who live on the island, helping out in the Songbird Café gives her a different perspective on the island, and she soon makes friends. This is perfectly pitched for pre-teen readers. Sarah Webb gets Mollie’s voice spot on, and the emotional journey she makes is totally convincing. The setting is delightful, and the cast of island characters so lovely everyone will want to live there. ~ Andrea Reece

A letter from the author ~

Dear Reader,

I’ve always loved books about islands: Enid Blyton’s Five on a Treasure Island and The Secret Island; the wonderful Irish adventure Island of the Great Yellow Ox by Walter Macken; the Anne of Green Gables books, which are set on Prince Edward Island in Canada; and a very old book called The Swiss Family Robinson, which my mum used to read to me, and is about a family who are stranded on a desert island.

A few years ago, I stayed in a yurt (a round Mongolian tent) on a small island called Cape Clear. It was so quiet, so peaceful. There was no traffic noise, only the odd dog barking and birds calling. One night as I lay on the grass, looking at the stars – there were so many glittering above me that I saw not one but two shooting stars – I started to think about what it might be like to live on a small island.

I decided I’d like to create and write stories about my very own island, Little Bird. At its heart would be a very special cafe, the Songbird Cafe − a place where everyone on the island meets. And then I introduced Mollie Cinnamon, a girl who is used to city life, and I stood back and watched the island’s magic cast its spell on her.

I hope you have the chance to visit a stunning island like Cape Clear one day. Until then, you can read about Mollie and her journey from city slicker to island girl.

Best and many wishes,

Sarah XXX

P. S. For teacher’s notes on using Mollie Cinnamon Is Not a Cupcake in the classroom, see

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Lucie Harrison, age 12 - 'a 'sweet' story of a girl who is sent to stay on a deserted island for two months, and finds a friend  (and a sweet tooth!) in the Songbird Cafe.' Read full review >
  • Georgie Docwra, age 9 - 'You must read this!! it was very funny, it made me laugh out-loud!' Read full review >
  • Dulcie Johnson, age 11 - 'This is a really brilliant book that is emotional in parts and is funny too.  I really enjoyed reading this and couldn't put it down. Mollie's an interesting character who I'd like to read more about.' Read full review >
  • Cajsa Jonsson, age 9 - 'A great story about family, friendships and enemies. A book full of unpredictability, emotions and realism. I loved it!' Read full review >
  • Sidney Greenslade, age 11 - 'a heartwarming tale of finding friendship in unlikely places, and how the impossible can be achieved when friends work together.' Read full review >
  • Sophie, age 10 - 'I really loved this books - a great family story that made me laugh, cry and go all warm and fuzzy inside...if you like Cathy Cassidy then you'll love this!' Read full review >
  • Emma Stephenson, age 11 - 'I love this book because it is similar to things that happen in real life, emotional but fun. I couldn't put it down. If you like realistic stories this is a book for you. Great for girls age 8 over.' Read full review >
  • Ella Day - 'This is a fun book and is great to read if you just want to relax and sink into a good story.' Read full review >
  • Jasmine Harris-Hart, age 12 - 'An exciting story about Mollie who is on the island of Little Bird. She would rather be anywhere else because there is nothing to do and she doesn't have any friends.......yet!' Read full review >
  • Molly Betts, age 9 - 'I liked the book The Songbird Café because Mollie Cinnamon learnt to stand up to bullies and love her family, including Nan, even if she is annoying (at times) in the story.' Read full review >
  • Beth Urquhart, age 8 and her mum - 'This is a great book with good portrayal of relationships without being too grown up which can be a danger with "family issues" type books.' Read full review >
  • Ida Johnson, age 8 - 'I wish I lived on Little Bird Island with Mollie and her friends! I loved reading this fun story.'  Read full review >


The Songbird Cafe Girls Mollie Cinnamon is Not a Cupcake by Sarah Webb

After a visit to the Songbird Cafe on Little Bird Island, it seems dreams really can come true... First book in a heartwarming series about friendship, family and wishes for readers aged 9 years and up.

Will Mollie ever find a place to call home? Mollie is stuck on a tiny island with her great-grandmother while her mum travels the world filming her new TV series. Mollie is so bored and lonely until she makes friends with Sunny and Alanna at the Songbird Cafe. Disaster strikes, though, when the cafe is threatened with closure. Can the new friends work together to save it?


Praise for the Ask Amy Green series:

‘A fab and funny read’ Cathy Cassidy

‘Fabulously funny; this is a brilliant read’ Mizz magazine

‘A cracking book.’ RTE

‘Hilarious, hugely diverting and full of wisdom. Highly recommended.’ The School Librarian

About the Author

Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb has written seven bestselling novels including, ‘When the Boys Are Away’, ‘Take a Chance’, and ‘Always the Bridesmaid’. Her books have been published in many different countries including the U.S. and Indonesia. She has also written four children’s books, has contributed short stories to many collections including ‘Moments’, and has compiled and edited two charity collections of her own, ‘Travelling Light’ and ‘Mum’s the Word’.

She lives in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, with her partner and three children and spends as much time as possible in her parent’s second home in Castletownsend.

As a child
I was born in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. I have two sisters, Kate and Emma, and we used to fight a lot when we were girls, especially when we were teenagers and they used to nick my black socks and tights – but we are great friends now! I also have a much younger brother, Richard. I used to have to babysit for him all the time, like Amy in Amy Green. Did I resent this – grrrrrr - this is me gnashing my teeth. Of course! I couldn’t read by myself until I was nine. I found this very upsetting and frustrating because I loved stories and so wanted to be able to read. I was very lucky – my parents never gave up on me and read to me day and night. Eventually the words started to make sense on the page and within weeks I was flying along, devouring books. I’ve never looked back. My favourite books as a child, and now, are Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Just like Harriet, I’ve kept a diary all my life and they are hidden in a very secret place in my house – so my family can’t find them, because they are TOP SECRET! I started writing stories soon after I started reading – at nine or ten. They were mainly re-writes of Cinderella or Enid Blyton books. I realised quite quickly that I could be anyone or do anything on the page. So there were a lot of enchanted sofas and beds in my stories, and characters flying out of windows like Wendy in Peter Pan. Someone asked me recently ‘Why do you write?’ I think it’s mainly because it makes me so happy. When I was little I wanted to be a ballerina, but I wasn’t good enough. My second dream was to be a writer or journalist. It just goes to show, sometimes dreams really do come true.

As an adult
I went to a school called St Andrew’s College in Dublin and then I studied English and History of Art in Trinity College, Dublin. I still love art and wandering around galleries is one my favourite things to do, especially in other countries. The MOMA in New York is my favourite gallery at the moment. After college, I wanted to work in publishing, but there weren’t many jobs and I didn’t have any experience so I applied to work in a bookshop called Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street. I loved it. I went on to work in many other bookshops including Hughes and Hughes, Waterstone’s, Eason and Dubray Books. Mainly as a children’s bookseller, I’m mad about children’s books, although I did spend a year selling medical books – so I know lots of strange ‘ology’ words!

As an artist
I started writing books when I was working in Waterstone’s. I was very broke and needed some extra money to carpet my little house. So I started writing for local newspapers and then magazines. And then I came up with an idea for a children’s cookery book, Kids Can Cook. It was rejected five times before Children’s Press in Ireland said they’d like to publish it. That was my very first book. Since then I have written eight novels for adults and Amy Green for young teens. I’m currently working on my second Amy Green book. I also enjoy visiting schools, and talking about children’s books with anyone who will listen. Obsessed, moi? Certainly not!

Things you didn't know about Sarah Webb
My favourite colour is raspberry pink – the walls in my study were pink for ages but it looked liked Barbie’s Magical Kingdom so they’re white now. But my curtains are pink!
I can touch the end of my nose with my tongue.
I sang Dancing Queen by Abba to my little sister at her wedding. Then I fell off the table. We have it all on video too!
I have a special proof copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, dedicated to me. I met J K Rowling at a dinner and she signed it for me. How cool is that?!
I’m obsessed with husky dogs and want to go on a husky safari with my son.
My favourite food is ice cream – with whipped cream on top. Vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Yum!
I carve a mean Hallowe’en pumpkin.
I adore karaoke, even though I can’t sing.
I’m addicted to notebooks. I always have at least one in my bag, one beside my bed, and another in the kitchen. You never know when a good idea is going to strike.
I couldn’t read until I was nine and now I’m a full time writer. Just goes to show, the world’s a funny place and anything’s possible if you want it badly enough.

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Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

5th March 2015




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