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A FINE DESSERT: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins

One of BuzzFeed’s 25 Ridiculously Wonderful Books to Read with Kids in 2015

Starred Reviews – Kirkus, School Library Journal, & Booklist

A FINE DESSERT:
Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat

by Emily Jenkins, illustrations by Sophie Blackall
(Schwartz & Wade Books, $17.99, Ages 4 and up)

Read Cathy Ballou Mealey’s rave review then enter our giveaway to win a copy! 

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Jenkins and Blackall combine Literature, History and Home Economics into one most scrumptious and delightful course in their stellar new title A FINE DESSERT. Following one sweet treat – blackberry fool – through four families, four cities, and four centuries, the book succeeds in creating an authentic and engaging portrayal of food history perfect for children and adults alike.

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Interior spread from A Fine Dessert by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, Schwartz & Wade ©2015.

Readers will follow the creation of blackberry fool from the first scene – a field in Lyme, England in 1710, where a mother and daughter are shown picking blackberries. Smoke curls from the cottage chimney, and berry juice stains their white aprons. They return home where the mother milks the cow, skims the cream, and whips it for fifteen minutes with a wooden twig whisk. Combined with the squashed and strained berries, the mixture is iced outdoors in a hillside pit. Finally it is served for dessert by candlelight in front of a roaring fire.

The tale next leads us to a plantation in Charleston, South Carolina in 1810 where once again the dessert will be prepared. Readers will immediately notice changes not only to the characters and the setting, but also to the methods, preparation, family, and society where the dessert is served. More changes are revealed in the third preparation, set in Boston, Massachusetts in 1910 and finally in a modern portrayal in San Diego, California in 2010. Each segment is tied together by various text details and artistic elements, and especially focuses on the gusto with which the delicious treat is enjoyed. The child always gets to lick the bowl clean!

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Interior spread from A Fine Dessert by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, Schwartz & Wade ©2015.

This book is a must-have for classrooms because of the infinite and engaging connections to Common Core teaching. It is also a wonderful book for families to bring right into the kitchen to prepare the blackberry fool recipe provided at the back. There is also an extensive note from the author about exploring history, research, and food preparation methods as a way to encourage conversations about work and social roles. The illustrator’s note is equally charming, and discusses the materials she used to create the unique purple endpapers.

Jenkins and Blackall have choreographed a delightful rhythm and repetition connecting the words and images throughout this book. There are endless marvelous discoveries on page after page that encourage readers to flip between the tales, uncovering similarities and differences that will challenges them to think and question. Have a second or third helping of A FINE DESSERT – you will be glad you did!

– Reviewed by Cathy Ballou Mealey 

Where Obtained:  I reviewed a promotional copy of A FINE DESSERT from the publisher and received no compensation. The opinions expressed here are my own.

WIN A COPY!
Leave a comment below about your favorite dessert then follow us on Facebook for a chance to win a copy of this scrumptious picture book. No entries after 11:59p.m. PST on February 18, 2015. One lucky winner will be randomly selected on Thursday Feb. 19, 2015. If you do not leave a comment and follow GRWR on  Facebook you will forfeit your chance to win. If you are not on Facebook, following on Twitter will qualify instead.

 

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Contest for Anne of Green Gables Fans from Sourcebooks!

Return to the World of Avonlea
With an Anne of Green Gables Contest

“One of the most extraordinary girls that ever came out of an ink pot.” – The New York Times

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Sourcebooks Fire, 2014.

Did you know that Anne of Green Gables was written over 100 years ago (1908 to be precise) and has sold over 50 million copies worldwide? When did you receive your first copy? Well, it’s time to revisit this classic courtesy of Sourcebooks who will be publishing both paperback and e-books of the beloved author’s works. In addition to delightful new cover art, the books will contain an introduction by the Canadian author’s granddaughter, Kate Macdonald Butler.

So mark your calendar now for the release of the Anne of Green Gables series in February 2014!  Sourcebooks is proud to be the new home of L.M. Montgomery’s beloved novels and will continue to publish gorgeous brand new editions of all her classics throughout March and April.

Bookpage is hosting a contest for the Anne of Green Gables series through January 31, 2014 called Kindred Spirits Sweepstakes, where all entries will have a chance to win the following:

  • ·         1 Grand Prize Winner will win 2 Tiffany & Co. sterling silver key pendants
  • ·         5 Second Place Winners will receive a full set of the Anne of Green Gables series from Sourcebooks Fire (6 books)
  • ·         10 Third Place Winners will receive a copy of Anne of Green Gables

Visit their website here for a list of official rules.  Submit your entries on the same page, or click here to enter and then tell others about this exciting contest.  Plus, you can tell Sourcebooks about your experiences and send them the links so they can share them on their social media sites.

  •         What memories do you have about reading Anne of Green Gables?
  •         How did Montgomery’s stories inspire you?

Dive deeper into L. M. Montgomery’s world by “Montgom-ifying” your name, entering giveaways, downloading posters and excerpts and so much more on the Anne of Green Gables page on the Sourcebooks website.

“The books I read most as a child were by Lucy Maud Montgomery…”

 – Madeleine L’Engle

 

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