Story Time Art: Bagel in Love

When I was strolling through the store with Valentine’s Day gifts on my mind for my girls, I came across Bagel in Love by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Helen Dardik and knew it would be a hit in our home. From the adorable characters, hilarious baking puns and glittery whimsical goodness, this book definitely doesn’t disappoint.  It kicks story time up a notch and inspired us to create some of the cutest characters ever!



I’m a huge fan of Helen Dardik’s illustrations. I actually discovered her work in The Story of Noah’s Ark and have added many of her books to our library ever since. Her illustrations truly POP with the amount of color and fun patterns that never cease to amaze me…. and my girls can’t get enough either. See for yourself! ?


This project is great for 4 year olds and above, but if you decide to go with the younger ones (4 year olds), it might be a good idea to go ahead and have the cupcake or bagel shapes already pre-cut for the kids. My daughter who is almost five did the cutting for the large shapes with my help. Or maybe have them trace the icing and cut it out themselves but have the rest ready to go. The shapes are simple enough that older kids could cut with no problem. It’s really up to you and your little ones’ skill level AND how much time you have to actually create. *Make sure to check out the video tutorial at the top of this post for how I prepped the shapes.

This is what we used:

  • 12″ x 18″ red or pink paper for background
  • Liquid tempera paint (red or white or pink + black for bagel) Glitter ✨ paint is fun too!
  • Heart sponge brushes
  • Round sponge brushes
  • Download free ICING TEMPLATE
  • 9″ x 12″ tan paper for the cake or bagel
  • 9″ x 12″ turquoise paper for the wrapper (cupcake only)
  • 9″ x 12″ pink or white paper for icing or just white for the bagel
  • 9″ x 12″ black paper for bagel
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Scissors & glue
  • 2 white paper crescent shapes for eyes
  • Oil pastels or crayons


  1. Stamp heart sponge brush with red or white or light pink paint for the background.

2. Glue down the shapes: tan cake shape first, wrapper second, then the icing on top.

3. Dip sponge brushes into white and red pink to paint the icing. Add sprinkles with dark red.

4. Color black pupils on the eyes and glue to the face. Add eye lashes, cheeks and a smile with oil pastels or crayons. Glue on popsicle sticks for arms.

5. Use sponge brush to add puffy sleeves and a flower shape or fun patterns on the wrapper.


For the bagel, you follow the same steps for the cupcake background. To make the bagel shapes, fold black, tan and white papers together then draw your shape and cut out to reveal 3 circles with holes in the middle.

Cut the white shape in half for the shirt and cut the black down a bit more for the suit bottom. Glue to background.

Use leftover black paper pieces to make a hat, legs and suspenders.

Add eyes and facial features and popsicle stick arms like the cupcake and use the sponge brushes to add a bow tie and buttons to finish up.

These projects have a few more steps than usual for us, but they are WORTH it and my girls were so engaged the whole time.

If you enjoyed this book and/or story time project, please tag us on Instagram: @picturebooksandpeonies or #picturebooksandpeonies


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