Independence Cake

A Revolutionary Confection Inspired by Amelia Simmons, Whose True History is Unfortunately Unknown

by Deborah Hopkinson

illustrated by Giselle Potter

 

 

Independence Cake introduced me to a historical figure that I had never heard of Amelia Simmons. She is the author of the very first cookbook in America called American Cookery. I love a good cookbook and just think she is what has inspired many to publish their own cookbook. She was revolutionary in 1796 to have a cookbook when to be honest I bet this was pretty unheard of. Deborah Hopkinson created a fictionalized account of Amelia Simmons life since very very little is known about her. Amelia’s cookbook was very popular and reprinted for 30 years after the first printing. This picture book would be a neat one to read to a budding chef to inspire them to maybe create their very own cookbook. I enjoyed reading her fictionalized biography of sorts and was happy to learn about an unknown historical figure.

summary: Master of the historical fiction picture book Deborah Hopkinson takes us back to late eighteenth-century America and the discombobulated home of Mrs. Bean, mother of six strapping sons, who simply can’t manage—until Amelia Simmons arrives and puts things in order. And how well she cooks—everything from flapjacks to bread pudding to pickled cucumbers! She even invents new recipes using American ingredients like winter squash. Best of all, she can bake, and to honor the brand-new president, George Washington, she presents him with thirteen Independence Cakes—one for each colony. “Delicious!” he proclaims. Author’s Note and original recipe included!

Thank you Deborah Hopkinson and Giselle Potter  for sending me a copy of Independence Cake. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

A Letter to My Teacher

by Deborah Hopkinson

illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

 

 

A Letter to My Teacher is the perfect gift for that special teacher that goes above and beyond their teaching job. This is for all those who really inspire and do everything to make sure each student feels special and that they can achieve anything in school. If you are looking for a wonderful heartwarming end of school year gift for one of those special teachers this year or future years than add this sweet picture book to your gift idea list. You might want to add a box of tissues to the gift bag since it might cause a few happy tears to form while reading it. Have your child add a dedication on the front cover and you have given them a very sweet touching gift.

About the Book: Dear Teacher, Whenever I had something to tell you, I tugged on your shirt and whispered in your ear. This time I’m writing a letter. So begins this picture book about a girl who prefers running and jumping to listening and learning and the teacher who gently inspires her. From stomping through creeks on a field trip to pretending to choke when called upon to read aloud, this book’s young heroine would be a challenge to any teacher. But this teacher isn’t just any teacher. By listening carefully and knowing just the right thing to say, she quickly learns that the girl’s unruly behavior is due to her struggles with reading. And at the very end, we learn what this former student is now: a teacher herself.

Thank you Deborah Hopkinson and Nancy Carpenter for sending me a copy of A Letter to My Teacher. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

A Greyhound A Groundhog

by Emily Jenkins

illustrated by Chris Appelhans

greyhound-groundhog-cover

 

A Greyhound A Groundhog was so cute I really enjoyed this and loved sharing it with a group of first graders. They were learning about writing book reviews so I went and talked to them about what I do here. I closed our discussion by reading an advanced copy of this picture book. I loved the word play and got all tongue-tied and twisted and that made them laugh. This book writing style really reminds me of Dr Seuss, and I am sure this is going to be a go to book to read in years to come. The story line used simple words and repeated making it easy to have the younger listeners and beginning readers to follow along. Beginning readers could use this to gain the confidence they need to become a reader. I think this one would be a lot of fun as a story time book since it flows very well and very entertaining. The illustrations are pretty and soft watercolor like paintings. I love illustrations that are paintings since those seem frame worthy and this book is full of frame-able illustrations. I would love to read more from this duo and more Greyhound and Groundhog adventures. Later in the day I had many of the first graders come up to me and tell me how much they really enjoyed this story. I can’t wait to gift this book to them and read and review many more picture books with them.

greyhound-groundhog-2

 

First Grade Reviewers:

They loved that I got all tongue twisted while reading it – thought that was hilarious.

They loved that the book used some words they are learning and that they could “help” me read it with some help

Some liked that they story was short and wasn’t full of words. You got the story but with fewer words than some picture books.

greyhound-groundhog-1

summary: When a greyhound meets a groundhog, wordplay and crazy antics ensue. The two animals, much like kids, work themselves into a frenzy as they whirl around and around one another. (Around, round hound. Around, groundhog!) The pace picks up (Around and around and astound and astound!), until they ultimately wear themselves out.

Thank you so very much Penguin Random House – Schwartz and Wade Books, Emily Jenkins and Chris Appelhans for allowing me to read this with a great group of first grade future book reviewers. We loved the book and all thoughts and opinions were not influenced by the free book.

 

Duck & Goose Let’s Dance

written and illustrated by Tad Hills

original song by Lauren Savage and Ross Gruet

Duck and Goose Let's Dance Written and Illustrated By Tad Hills

 

Duck and Goose is a fun little book series and one that kids love. They are perfect read aloud’s that hold the attention span of the listener and create laugh out loud moments. Duck and Goose are the cutest little characters and I feel this books will become classic picture books. The bright colorful illustrations are inviting and will capture and hold the little bookworms. The sentences are simple and short which would be make this book a good beginning reader. Duck & Goose Let’s Dance is a board book so it is sturdy for lots of reading wear and hold’s up well for toting around while out and about. This book comes with an added bonus of downloading a song that accompanies this board book.

summary: Honk, quack, dance and sing with Duck & Goose in this fun new board book, which includes an original Duck & Goose song.