Celebrate American independence with this delightful picture book as you travel to Revolutionary America and meet the amazing Amelia Simmons: mother's helper, baker of delectable cakes, and soon-to-be authoress of the first American cookbook!
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!
Praise for Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek by Deborah Hopkinson:
“Abe Lincoln, a storyteller of great repute, would be hard-pressed to beat Hopkinson’s considerable skills.” —The Horn Book Magazine
Praise for This Is My Dollhouse by Giselle Potter:
"Celebrates the best of free play, capturing what it's like to be fully engaged and inspired." —The New York Times
*“Downright charming watercolor-and-ink illustrations invite close inspection.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred
Next to nothing is known about Amelia Simmons, whose American Cookery, published in 1796, was the first cookbook to be written by an American and to incorporate native ingredients. So Hopkinson (Steamboat School) and Potter (This Is My Dollhouse) create a lively backstory for this culinary revolutionary. Orphaned and sent to work as a housemaid for the frazzled Mrs. Bean, Amelia impresses with her unflappable demeanor and soon takes over the kitchen. "We are independent now," she tells Mrs. Bean. "I want to learn good, plain American cookery and share recipes with my fellow citizens." She wows the Bean children with cornmeal flapjacks and President Washington with a slice of Independence Cake created for his inauguration. Hopkinson's text can be a little on the nose ("You've brightened our lives like a star on the flag," says Mrs. Bean), but Potter's signature rendering style is an ideal match for the subject matter, her flattened perspectives, understated expressions, and creamy colors harking back to 18th-century portraiture. Both budding chefs and those who happily (and patriotically) consume their handiwork will eat this up. Ages 4 8. Author's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House.