Delicious! (period photograph, author’s note, timeline, selected bibliography of adult sources) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)

THE HOLE STORY OF THE DOUGHNUT

Miller shares the true story of the invention of the doughnut with the hole in its center.

Hanson Gregory began his career at sea in 1844, at age 13, eventually captaining cargo schooners and clippers. As cook’s assistant in 1847, while preparing the usual deep-fried cakes for breakfast, Hanson had an idea. The sailors called the cakes “sinkers”: they were crisp at the edges but raw and greasy in the middle. Using the lid from a pepper tin to cut a hole in each cake’s center, Hanson fried a batch of cakes that “were brown, and sweet, and fully cooked. Sighs of delight rose above the noisy sea. A new breakfast tradition was born.” The author’s research unfolds a couple of colorful, alternate legends of the doughnut’s seagoing origins, since, naturally, “sailors like their stories bold.” Miller also recounts comments that Capt. Gregory made in a 1916 newspaper interview. “He laughed as he teased the reporter that he had invented ‘the first hole ever seen by mortal eyes.’ ” Kirsch’s charming watercolor collages liberally employ round motifs: on many spreads, the circular illustration on the right page is “cut” from the left, freeing up a circle of white space for text. Endpapers sport scores of holey doughnuts, many decorated nautically, and semaphore flags on the copyright page spell out “eat doughnuts.” Kirsch does not, however, take the opportunity to represent the racial diversity of 19th-century sailing crews.

Delicious! (period photograph, author’s note, timeline, selected bibliography of adult sources) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-31961-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2016

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A worthy message delivered with a generous dose of inclusivity.

STACEY'S REMARKABLE BOOKS

Sharing books brings children from multiple backgrounds together in this companion to Stacey’s Extraordinary Words (2021).

Again lightly burnishing actual childhood memories, voting rights activist and former gubernatorial candidate Abrams recalls reaching out as a young book lover to Julie, a new Vietnamese classmate shy about reading in English. Choosing books to read and discuss together on weekly excursions to the school’s library, the two are soon joined by enough other children from Gambia, South Korea, and elsewhere that their beaming librarian, Mr. McCormick, who is dark-skinned, sets up an after-school club. Later, Julie adds some give and take to their friendship by helping Stacey overcome her own reluctance to join the other children on the playground. Though views of the library seen through a faint golden haze flecked with stars go a little over the top (school librarians may disagree), Thomas fills the space with animated, bright-eyed young faces clustering intimately together over books and rendered in various shades beneath a range of hairstyles and head coverings. The author underscores the diversity of the cast by slipping scattered comments in Spanish, Wolof, and other languages into the dialogue and, after extolling throughout the power of books and stories to make new friends as well as open imaginations to new experiences and identities, brings all of her themes together in an afterword capped by an excellent list of recommended picture books. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A worthy message delivered with a generous dose of inclusivity. (Picture-book memoir. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-327185-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

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26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE

            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

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