Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Sweets: Harry Potter

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Years ago, Jen and I were in an airport with nothing to read. So, like so many other hapless victims, we decided to peruse the local den of thieves (aka airport gift shop). On a whim, Jen picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Little did I know that that would be the beginning of what has become a minor obsession in my life. We've been to midnight book releases, I listen to the audio books at work over and over, and naturally I'm far more excited about the movies than any grown man probably should be. So, with the sixth film coming out this Wednesday, I asked Jen to let me do this week's Sunday Sweets.

Now, put down those Fizzing Wizzbies, and let's admire the works of some of the finest Muggle bakers around!

You guys asked for more 2D cakes, so check out this awesome fondant-free example:

We're pretty sure that's either a chocolate or butter cream transfer on the top - cool, huh? I found it on Decolicious!'s Flickr stream.

Next is Margie's amazing Sorting Hat:

For those of you who are not (yet) die-hard Potter fans, the sorting hat is a magical talking hat. Who sometimes sings. Or produces swords. Or bursts into flames. (Just read the books, Ok?)

This next one is reeeeally exciting [pushing up glasses]:

It's a book cake, yes. But not just ANY book cake; a book cake with the very last line from the series on it:

"All was well." [tearing up] This is so beautiful. It's from the aptly named Mike's Amazing Cakes.

And finally, here's the Hogwarts cake Duff and his team from Charm City Cakes made:

I think this was for the last movie's premier.

Here's a closeup:

I know what you're thinking, and yes, there actually are more great Harry Potter cakes out there. You'll just have to tune in next Sunday to see the rest of them. (And if you have one to nominate, you can send it to us at Sunday Sweets [at] Cake Wrecks [dot] com.)

And finally, I know there are still some folks out there who don't like Harry Potter, for any of a number of reasons. I doubt I'll be able to change your mind if that's the case, but I do want to share what I think is the best end result of JK Rowling's work:

Little kids reading 800 page books - now THAT is Sunday Sweets worthy.
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holly said...

Caring mom, you missed John's point. It wasn't about whether it was clear that the SOM Nazis were evil, it was about basing your opinion simply on what someone else thought, without actually knowing for yourself.

Case in point - I know many people who said they simply would not go see/rent Schindler's List because it was 'so sad', terrible the way people were treated etc. 'They'd heard....' blahblah. And it was terrible and sad and heartbreaking. But if you didn't go see it based on that, you would miss a story about the utter humanity of one man and how much he did for a group of people that had no one else. The lives and future generations he saved, and at such a risk to himself! To me, it wasn't a story of evil Nazis (although they certainly played a part) but a story about how good still triumphed over evil. It also made me want to read and learn more about the untold stories of people who quietly did the same thing for the Jews.

But if I'd just listened to a few people who never saw it and only listened to others...I'd have missed a hundred wonderful stories.

kingmonkey said...

Can I just point out that the book cake presents the last line of the book on the middle "page" of the cake?

Rosemary said...

These are fantastic! Forget the haters, HP is great stuff. Can't wait for the movie!

Louise said...

Oh my gosh I've never seen such hilarious comments before ... "witchcraft is evil' etc ... people actually BELIEVE in witchcraft and satanism?! Or still believe in such a thing as evil? ADULTS believe this? In 2009?

Strange how I've never noticed an entire generation of children turning into devil-worshippers before my eyes.

At least Harry Potter is clearly labelled 'fiction'. From the look of these comments, I think there's certain other books that could do with having that label added as well.

(seriously, I'm still laughing at the idea that this book is somehow 'evil')

Eeyore said...

The cakes are great! Thanks for sharing them.

I'll be 60 in September and started reading Harry Potter in 1999, when the third book was released in the U.S. Why? Not because my children were reading it, as they were 17 and 20 at the time, but because some well-meaning but misinformed Christians wanted to ban the books. As a Christian myself, I choose to check things like that out for myself rather than just relying on someone else's opinion. So I went to the bookstore that day and bought the first book. I returned to buy the second and third even before I finished the first one.

As soon as I finished, I handed the book to my youngest daughter, the 17 year old, and pretty much insisted she read it. Before all the on-line hype, she and I spent many hours discussing the books and the deeper meanings, as well as the Christian undertones we saw (even in just the first three books).

We've gone to the midnight book releases since the fourth book came out and we've gone to all the movies together. My older daughter was away at college but she started reading the books as well.

I have two tickets for the midnight movie and will be going with the older daughter this time.

Books, in and of themselves, aren't bad for children. They can open doors to conversations if the parents are willing to walk alongside their children when they read. Even if you don't like the message in a book, it's a chance to discuss that with your child. But banning a child from reading a book or seeing a particular movie, makes it so much more appealing.

Sorry for the length, but after 10 years of reading and re-reading the HP books, I'm just weary of the naysayers who base their decisions of their own ignorance. The credibility of your opinion falls apart if you haven't read the books. If you have read them (more than isolated passages taken out of context) and you don't like them, then that's fine. But don't dismiss them just because someone told you what they were about. From some of the comments, it's clear that some still have no clue what's in the Harry Potter books.

And for the record, I was always a reader, so yes, I saw the references to myths and fairy tales and other authors such as Austen and Dickens. That actually was one of the things that I loved - the way Rowling used all that was familiar in literature and created something new and fresh with a twist.

And now I'm off to finish rereading the last of Half-Blood Prince before the movie comes out tomorrow at midnight. Yay!!!

Alison said...

Just a thought for some of you who are upset about the lack of cake in some of the Charm City creations: If you watch the show, they specifically designate some cakes as "showpieces" (per the client's request). The HP castle was one such item that was never designed to be eaten. In these cases, they provide sheetcakes to use for serving. Sometimes, they also use cake at the base around the central showpiece, depending on the design.

Anonymous said...

I support Harry Potter, and I especially support Harry Potter cakes. Looking forward to next Sunday's line-up!

Misscoffeebot said...

Quote from Anonymous:

"There are good modern children's literature authors out there, but Rowling really ain't one of them."

It could be worse. Twilight for instance...

Roxie said...

Vatican lauds good/evil theme in Harry Potter film

ct114 said...

It just came out that the Vatican gave it's two thumbs up on the newest movie. They said that the good vs evil story was clear.

Cristine said...

This may have been said already but it would have been awesome if the "all is well" cake was Tom Riddle's diary instead and had the conversation of between Harry and Tom Riddle written in it instead..

Unknown said...

Okay, I can't contain my self so here it is. I get so frustrated by parents that say a"ny book that gets a kid to read is a good thing". What if they were reading the satanic bible? Yes I'm being extreme but so is your statement of ANY BOOK! These are the same parents that load their kids with sugar instead of a healthy meal and then say well 'at least they're eating". "Parenting" is a verb people!!!!

GemCityCakes said...

I by no means hate Harry Potter. I just have zero knowledge of it. Never read the books or seen the movies. So, I wouldn't really know how well these relate to the books/movies... however, they are amazing looking cakes!!

And kids reading? Are you kidding me? I get excited when little kids read dinner menus, shampoo bottles... anything!! So yeah, it's awesome!

I'm sure when I was that age, someone had a problem with some of the books I was reading... I mean gosh, who rememeres Goosebumps? I must have read 100 of those terrible books! But they got me to love reading!

Kadye said...

Per the celeb blogger everyone loves to hate:

"The newest wizard flick Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has gotten the highest praise one could hope for: God's!

The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano actually stood behind the newest addition to the franchise, even though there has been talk of the Christian community considering the series "Satanism."

Well, not anymore!

The Vatican particularly applauded the film for giving a clear assurance that good will overcome evil and in a major twist, even cheers the film's approach to the teenage lovefest, claiming it achieves the "correct balance" to be suitable for all audiences.

How do you like that?!

Not that you needed his approval before, but will U be seeing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince now that God says it's cool?"

Anonymous said...

when i saw the "sorting hat" i instantly thought it was mr. oogie boogie from the nightmare before christmas hahaha i'm a diehard fan of THAT movie!

Anonymous said...

So, Caring mom, do you forbid your children to watch Disney cartoons or read fairy tales because they have magic in them? As many people have already pointed out, fantasy is a normal, healthy part of childhood, and magic in Harry Potter is as incidental as it is in Cinderella. I think the Harry Potter stories are an excellent example of Christian morals set in a fun, engaging scenario that kids can relate to. I have a hard time believing that anyone can actually read the stories and miss the Christian undertones. There are even scripture references!

And Jamie, quite frankly it frightens me to hear someone coming from a supposedly "Christian" perspective dismiss C.S. Lewis as a "cultist". It was Tolkein who converted Lewis to Christianity, and Lewis became arguably one of the great Christian lay theologians and writers of his era.

As a devout Christian and soon-to-be seminary student, it saddens me to see how closed-minded so many Christians have become... Someone earlier in the comments (sorry, I can't find it) said that if you're worried that reading a book will diminish your faith, the problem is with your faith, not with the book. I completely agree.

Sooo, [/soapbox] those are some awesome cakes! I love the sorting hat! I remember watching the Ace of Cakes episode where they made that cake - it's no less impressive the second time around! Jen and John - thanks for posting these, and thanks for putting up with all of us who have an inability to keep our opinions to ourselves... :p

celestialcakes said...

Love it! Harry Potter is the greatest, and TODAY IS MOVIE DAY!!

Frank said...

personally, I loved the Harry Potter series.
As for the bible, though, it really never held my interest. I think it lost something in the multitude of rewrites.

Anonymous said...

Um, am I the only one who thinks the first (2-D) cake is a tad wreck-ish? Specifically, the person depicted is androgynous and, if it wasn't for the glasses, I'd think it was Hermione rather than Harry. Or a toss-up. Sorry.

Love the Sorting Hat. D'you think it's chocolaty chocolate frosting? Mmm.

-- Ms. B

Kristin aka Trekkie Gal said...

The sorting hat cake is AWESOME! And that is coming from a person who has actually been sorted by the hat. Seriously! Unfortunately, I was sorted into Slytherin, but oh well. :)

(If you want a chance to be sorted too, come to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. ;D

Anonymous said...

I love the picture of the kids reading! Harry Potter really made me a great reader. I remember reading the fourth book in a single day one time when I was home sick in third grade!

HoldingAloha said...

While I am a Twitard, I also love the HP series. I just read Half Blood Prince for the 4th time yesterday (just in time for the movie) and i still cry when you know what happens. BTW - those were awesome cakes.

Emily said...

Can't wait for the next installment of HP Sunday Sweets! I have great expectations. No pressure. :)

Anonymous said...

Not a fan of Harry Potter, but kids reading is always a plus.

Linaloo84 said...

As a HUGE HP and cakewrecks fan (another adult that goes to the midnight movie showings and listens to the audiobooks on my ipod and at work) I LOVED this sunday sweets post.

I agree, anything that gets kids to start a love of reading should be applauded.

The sorting hat cake is awesome- completely spot on!

Gwendolyn said...

I love the cakes!

The HP series is great and are wonderful because they get children interested in reading and using their imaginations.

I'm sad that so many of the church going people around Richmond, VA forbid their kids from reading these books. *sigh*

Bree said...

I never got into the fantasy genre so Harry Potter is not a favorite. But to see kids read period is great.

And to all those narrow-minded religious zealots who think HP is promoting witchcraft and is evil, please come into the 21st century. Most actual practicing witches are not Satan's minions sacrificing cats and chanting evil spells and holding orgies in the woods. And even if they were, they're still less scarier than you. I think most of you who disallow HP are afraid that your children might actually grow up and not want to practice the same faith as you.

Oh yeah, the cakes are cool. The hat is the best.

Anonymous said...

I was reading all of the arguments here and really I think I hate the idea of kids being super sheltered.

It is one thing to keep your kids safe, and happy...but to shelter them from stuff is horrible!

The fact is that one day, you won`t be there all the time to watch what they do and what they say.

How will they won`t be a learned behavior... have so much more access to information then I did when I was is everywhere..and where it is ok to guide them...I don`t believe we should deny them.

Unknown said...

To the person who said that you can indeed make children love to read by modeling good reading behavior for them and surrounding them with books, I must disagree.

My brother and I, raised in the same house by the same parents a mere few years apart, have completely different attitudes towards reading. I couldn't get enough of it, especially growing up, and while a hatred of all books school-related steered me away from reading for a few years, I think the fact that it took an entire moving van to transport my books across town speaks to my love of books.

My brother, on the other hand, read what was required for school and that was it. He loves fine film and has an encyclopedic knowledge of indipendent music, he certainly appreciates art more than I ever will, but he doesn't like books very much.

We were both read to every night by our mother. I started begging to learn to read when I was 2-ish, he was content to wait a couple years until he was about 4 or 5. I was the one who cried if we had to miss story-time one night, he was more ambivalent. When we would go to the library, I would walk out with a stack too tall for one child to carry, and finish them all in about four days; he would get two or three books and take a few weeks to read them.

I think there are kids who are voracious lovers of books from an early age, and there are kids who are more reluctant but will get drawn in by the right book. For some kids, it's Tolkien. For a lot of guys I knew growing up, it was the Redwall series. For kids now, it's Harry Potter - and all of that's okay. Personally, I was never a huge fan of any of those series, but it's certainly not up to me what someone else should or shouldn't read.

Unless it's Twilight.

Meggin (Serendipity Reviews) said...

Usually I don't comment... I think this comment may come off as hypocritical... but here it is:

Do you all writing these long comments preaching about how much better you are than everyone else because you don't allow your kids to read HP REALIZE the sheer annoyance level you're putting on poor John and Jen? They put all this effort into making something fun and enjoyable, and you just come and yell at them for liking HP? PLUS they have to moderate all of the comments. That's just what a 12 year old girl over here got to say.

Um, sorry this is long too. Hence my hypocricy warning. You probably won't pass this *is embarrased* But I just wanted people to know what they're doing. Um. Again sorry :)

Pretty cakes though. :D

SugarQueen said...

Oh my. I'm so unbelievably jealous that these chefs--no, artists-- can make stuff like that. *bursts into noisy tears of joy* What talent! What beauty! What yummy frosting-covered bundles of happiness and best of all, CAKE!

@ Jamie
OK, I'll give you that Harry Potter IS about magic. No doubts about that. But as a HP lover, (though my obsession dulled because of everyone else's crazed Potterphilia--same with Twilight series) I must object to your claims that HP is 'sugar coated but evil to the core'. Because a) nothing sugar coated can be evil, :) and b) the books are just for fun. If your kid wants to join the Death Eaters after reading Harry Potter, they're too young/immature to be reading HP. And I highly doubt that JK Rowling is a practicing witch. Who told you that?

P.S. I got the sniffles when I saw those kids reading. And not just because I have a cold.

Punkinqueen said...

First of all, I love your site and I'm sorry but I have to say a few things to say.

VillageMom, to say that Tolkien's characters "who are striving for goodness do not dabble in ambiguity" is ludicrous and you clearly haven't paid much attention to the stories. In the Hobbit, Bilbo is basically seduced by the ring. Though the books are about overcoming evil, they're wrought with ambiguity.

Jamie, I don't know where you get your facts but you should check them. This "cult" that Lewis and Tolkien belonged to, it's called Christianity.

And CaringMom, I have a problem with anyone that says "Witchcraft is evil" because they obviously don't know anything about it. Practicing witches tend to follow the teachings of Christ better than most Christians (you know, love thy neighbor, forgiveness, harm none, etc).

I believe if Christ were alive today, he wouldn't be a Christian in the traditional sense. He'd be a lot nicer than most of them and probably wouldn't define himself by his religion, but by his actions. And I only say this because the people that have been the most intolerant to my family, my friends and in the general media, have been "devout Christians".

Anonymous said...

This will probably get censored/moderated and fair enough but I have to seriously laugh at the 'Harry Potter is secretly satanic' and encourages sorcery comments, they truly made we wonder which century I was in for a second! As much as I absolutely adore America it's things like this that make me glad I'm English and virtually free from those kind of misguided concerns. I'd also like to take a moment to remind people of all the places in the world where the Bible is banned because of all the sex, murder, debauchery and yes, sorcery, it features. (And for the record although I am not likely to be found in church on a sunday I did go to a church school and am not an atheist)

As for Harry Potter itself, I too was turned off by the hype and have only read the final book, although ironically I adore the films - like the books they might not be masterpieces but they are harmless escapist fun with a huge warm heart. Although I don't especially intend to go back and read the other six books and can see the point that they aren't perfectly written I totally disagree that they are poorly written. I think they are nicely written and enjoyable and aren't trying to be works of genius. I agree with several people on here about Tolkien - I don't doubt his talent, genius or sheer awesomeness for a second and love the LOTR mythology and films, but I couldn't finish the Hobbit to save my life!
I also agree that Harry Potter, like all great fantasy books isn't really about witches and wizards at all, it's about finding yourself and the importance of family, friends, loyalty and love. What better lessons for children can there be than that??

Kimberleigh said...

Um, Christ wasn't Christian at all. He was Jewish. He also spent his time amongst non-believers and the poor, beleaguered, etc. He certainly didn't isolate himself only among his own kind, as many "Christians" do today. When people use WWJD as an excuse not to read certain books or expose themselves or their children to certain people/experiences, they're not thinking about what Jesus would do at all, they're thinking about how they can best avoid testing their (and their children's) faith.

And yes, I'd prefer to have my kids read the Satanist Bible than to not read at all. It's a book, just like any other, and it'll make them think. Ignorance and prejudice come from being too afraid to look outside your shell.

Kayla said...

I find these comments and specifically the religious debate very interesting. I've not heard a single thing against Twilight, and yet it's a story about vampires and a VERY obsessed teenage girl. I would hardly call those child-appropriate, and I certainly will not let my daughter read them until she is nearly an adult, but people jump on Harry Potter because he's a wizard. A teenaged wizard fighting against pure evil.

Very interesting.

LOVE the cakes. The sorting hat is my fave!

Traci said...

Holly, who commented on July 13th - I LOVE YOU! You hit the nail right on the head!! SMART WOMAN!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for these sweets. My husband read the series to our sons at night over the past few years. It prompted tremendous discussions about choices we make and critique of the movies (they like books better - yea!)And last year my 8 year old read through the series twice himself. It inspired a life long love of reading! These sweets were great, and I love the book one best.

Plue_plue said...

I LOL at the debate about books. Not because they are really funny but the fact that this is on a cake website (and a hilarious one at that!) There is a place and time for serious debates about it... this is not the time

and the cakes?... I am now going to get a Harry Potter theme cake! (and I am 21 going on 22) That Sorting hat looks so real that I want to put it on my head and sort me into a house! (big Harry Potter fan here!)

Unknown said...

Had to giggle when someone posted that JK Rowling was a witch herself, which she most certainly is not!

What I have not seen mentioned here is how not only did this book transform the lives of the readers, but JK Rowling's as well. This is a woman who was struggling to feed her child. She was on welfare and extremely depressed, and writing that first book was just something she did. She never knew it could become such a success and she'd make this kind of money. I think it's awesome that someone who was once in dire straits is now thriving!

contrarian said...

I was just going to read through these and scoff, but then I saw this:
Tolkien and Lewis are lightyears away from Rowling and Harry Potter. Both in writing and message. Lewis and Tolkien's characters draw strength from believing in a higher power; Rowling's characters' strength comes from mastering sorcery and believing in *themselves*. Very different messages.

I absolutely agree with the above statement, though I'd substitute "mastering sorcery" with "honing their talents." And that's why I prefer Rowling to Lewis. There is no higher power, and trusting in one is throwing yourself into the arms of a random universe and expecting to be caught. The only thing we can rely upon is our own strength of character and the bonds we forge in our lives with others.

Also, Harry potter is fantasy. Lighten up!

Dea said...

LOVE the cakes!

As for the debate, eh - people can choose to read/not read - as long as they don't try to prohibit me and my kids and family from reading it, that is.

I find it funny that Tolkein is somehow this "great" author, and CSLewis is so sanctified - their books were SO boring to me. But I support your right to like and read them! :)

Of course, my kids sure won't be reading the bible any time soon, either - but I'll hand them Harry Potter or the Riordan books in a heartbeat! And, of course, Captain Underpants! LOL! Kids shouldn't have to ONLY read "quality." They should be able to have fun, any way their parent finds ok, btw - it's not MY place to say read it or don't. Just as it isn't someone else's place to tell me I should be Christian, or not read it, etc...

Dea said...

Judy - nice assumption on what parents feed their kids. Are you a parent? For how long? So reading Harry Potter is somehow bad parenting?? Under whose opinion? I'm not a Christian - thus, how is it your dictates should pertain to me??

Oh - and to those posting the Vatican decision - unfortunately, a lot of the non-Catholics view Catholics as heretics and non-Christians - some even going so far as to consider Catholics equal to witchcraft...just an FYI....

Punkinqueen - LOVE your comment about Wicca...

Anonymous said...

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies, The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." ---C. S. Lewis

Vicki said...

My Xn parents were very strict about what we read with the result that, by the time I was eight, I knew to take the cover off my science book and put it on the library book I was currently reading. I loved fiction and stories as well as history and biographies which were allowed. I suspect any clever child will read what they want despite prohibitions from parents.

The cakes are great. I do love Sunday Sweets (as well as the rest of the week).

Barbara said...

Lewis was an intense and devout Christian, as converts often are, *and* he recognized the importance of personal choice and responsibility in action and in belief. (As does Rowling.) Wonderful quote, thank you for posting.
John, my favorite is your roses & bees. I've loved the cakes but never read the comments section till you mentioned the great debates & then I had to come "rubberneck." Glad I did if only to read your quotable reply.

Word verification: shesses, as in "Shesses, what a silly lot we are!"

Unknown said...

There's a middle ground between not caring what your kids read and censorship. I was raised by highly educated Christian parents and have always been an avid reader. Whenever I had borrowed a library book that my parents thought I might be too young for, or had other doubts about, they would just let me read it and discuss it with me later. That way I learned that my opinion about a book was valuable, and that you can read a book critically, without taking everything you read for granted.

As to the person who said that Tolkien's and Lewis's protagonists take their strength from their belief in a higher power, while with Harry c.s. it's only their Inner Strength that matters: erm, no. Sure, there are 'gods' in the Middle Earth universe, but they have been absent from Middle Earth itself for ages and do not play any role in the story of LOTR; nor does faith or religion, really (the only example of something like religion in Tolkien's works is the worshipping of Sauron by the people of NĂºmenor, which eventually led to their destruction).
Neither does faith as such play a role in Chronicles of Narnia, at least not if you define 'faith' as the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews does: as the proof of what we cannot see. Aslan is a visible part of the physical reality; he might be a 'higher power', but it's all more a matter of allegiance than of faith. And the bad guys are still defeated with swords and muscle power.
As to Harry Potter: the books stress almost ad nauseam that while bad guy Voldemort only believes in strength and ambition, the power that really matters is love. Harry does not defeat Voldemort because he has 'found his inner strength', but because of the power of his mother's self-sacrificing love. In the end, Voldemort is defeated *precisely because* he only believes in individual power.

Could it be that you have not really read any of the books you were talking about?

Sorry for the tl;dr post. I loved the cakes and I love Harry Potter and I love this blog. I'm just not that good at ignoring people who say stuff that isn't true :P.

Chris W said...

"How about getting the little guys to read Tolkien, Blume, Cleary, L'Engle, Tannenbaum or others?"

Ummm ok, but I *DO NOT* want to see the "are you there god its me margaret" cake.

I love this blog. My wife and I sat here a few nights ago after we found it for the first time. We both laughed so hard we had tears in our eyes. Great job on this!!

Anonymous said...

I think that in Harry Potter the point is to believe in yourself and draw strength from your friends and family and the love in your life. Voldemort has self-belief and ambition but he doesn't understand the values that enrich the lives of Harry and his friends. He has immense power to fight but really there is nothing he is fighting for and that was his ultimate weakness.

Sr. Mina, BSP said...

I really must shed some tears here. This post is about cakes, and people are harping on what's good or bad about certain books? What's that got to do with the cakes? Please go commute to the comment box and fix this right away; start commenting on the cakes.

I think the cakes look fabulous, but my favourite one is the book cake. If I could be assured ANY bakery could make it, I would be ordering one for my next birthday. I am book nerd myself and I used to read 400-page books, even bigger. The only reason I can't do that now is because they're rarely available in large print nor giant print. So this cake would sooo cheer me up. Yay.

As for the silly debate... I can understand if the HP books don't clearly help us make morals clear. That may even be true of the movies, which I didn't care for. Books are rarely done well in movie format. That complaint about unclear morals...I have no trouble with. But to complain that they teach sorcery is just plain wrong. They don't. They just tell you to wave a wand and say a false Latin word that supposedly sounds like an incantation and the "magic" happens. That's not sorcery. I've looked at sorcery books, so I know the difference. Satan is not going to hug you for chanting out "Huggus Meus!" Yeesh. He's a very intelligent fallen angel, so I highly doubt such false magic would encourage him to do you any favours.

Megan Morrison said...

As one of the two people who commissioned the book cake for a wedding (I'm the groom, using my wife's account), I had to respond to a couple of posts (even if it's far too late to be doing so):

"Can I just point out that the book cake presents the last line of the book on the middle "page" of the cake?"

Indeed. The point was that we're in the middle of life, we've reached the "happy ending", and still there is so much yet to be written. Perhaps if you'd known it was for a wedding...

As to the person/people saying it would have been better/cooler if it had been the Riddle diary, sorry dears, we're not having the Riddle diary at our wedding, thanks very much. You can have it at yours.

The Harry Potter books (don't care much for the movies, they miss the spirit of the source material too often) brought my wife and I together, and their humor and humanity makes them stand above most books. Love and friendship will always triumph over evil and stodginess. :)

I'm sorry for the people who felt the last book was such a disappointment (my sisters were among them). I felt extremely satisfied myself, and think a re-read would do some good for the people who felt let down.

As to the snobs: I read Shakespeare and Heller and Dickens and Tolstoy and Hawthorne and Greene and Tolkien for fun. I do not see why you have to restrict yourself to "great" literature, not able to enjoy "lighter" fare. Besides, Harry Potter has more laughs than any of those authors (except Heller and Shakespeare) combined.

Our wedding was great, and that cake was a major part of it. Thank you, o website masters, for liking our cake. And thanks to all who praised it in the comments. We appreciated its elegance, style, and simplicity, and thanks once again to Mike's Amazing Cakes. Fantastic job!

Anonymous said...

You know what would be even better? For little kids to be reading a WELL WRITTEN 800 page book. Or a WELL WRITTEN 100 page book. 800 pages does not spell "quality". Sadly, Harry Potter is derivative of every other myth, legend and fantasy novel Rowling could copy, steal from, adapt, or rip off. And her prose is lousy, too. How about getting the little guys to read Tolkien, Blume, Cleary, L'Engle, Tannenbaum or others? There are good modern children's literature authors out there, but Rowling really ain't one of them.

Pft! As if! Rowling has made a GREAT mark in History, imagine life without Harry Potter!

and the truth is, most of the author's you mentioned are boring. good luck tryiong to get a kid to read that. kids want fun! fantasy! adventure! can't you just enjoy this majestic series and live your life?

Anonymous said...

Love the blog! I'm kind of a new comer, which is why I'm commenting so late in the game. I couldn't resist the oppertunity to teach the public a bit.
I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. I love the fact that children are reading.
I am also a witch who is very serious about her religion and a little insulted that people mix my faith in with fiction.
First off. Witchcraft, the religion first appeared 28000 bc. Witchcraft is sprinkled all over the bible. Why did the three wisemen give baby jesus frankencense and mur? Because Frankencense and Mur and thought to be able to ward off evil spirits and negativity. Many branches of Christianity have been mixed with branches of Witchcraft. These branches of churches are labelled as "Our lady", which is one of the main terms used for our Goddesses. Also, the bible had no traces of anti-witchcraft until King James trancelated the bible to english. He changed many parts the indicated it was a sin to be Jewish to Witchcraft. He went on a rampage where he tortured and killed many men and women (and hung one dog, because he was a moron) for their religious beliefs. When he couldn't find anyone causing harm with their pagan practises? He decided that Witchcraft simply didn't exist.
Witchcraft, Paganism, and the Wiccan religion are protected under the 1st and 14th amendment as of the 80's. The US Army has classes to teach their clergy how to lead witchcraft ceremony.
Please be respectful of other peoples religious choices, just as we are of yours.

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now! :)
I'll stop now :)

Anonymous said...

To Jamie: I find it interesting that you lump C.S. Lewis in your list of devil-worshipping fiction writers, considering he was a celebrated Christian Apologist, and wrote mostly non-fiction novels on the subject of Christian faith and discovery. The Narnia novels, in themselves, are one the prime examples of allegory in the history of literature, with Aslan being the correlate figure to Christ, and the White Witch to Satan.

Laura said...

Kids reading is the best result of her work, but you know the worst? The part that you got all teary at. That was, quite possibly, the worst ending words to any book I've ever read. And I've read many books (though admittedly not many shocking ones). Ew. Hate. *glare*

((No joke. I actually liked the HP series, but after reading the epilogue I was tempted to stab and/or tear out the last pages. If the book was mine, I'm sure I would have))

Anonymous said...

My only question is.... was the marvelous book cake supposed to be Tom Riddle's diary??? If so then AAAWWW is Voldy jealous???

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