Below is the first mostly good review for How The Cookie Crumbled, out in October.
HOW THE COOKIE CRUMBLED
The True (and Not-So-True) Stories of the Invention of the Chocolate Chip Cookie
Author: Gilbert Ford
Illustrator: Gilbert Ford
A chocolate candy bar cannonballing into a possessed mixer. Baking chocolate suddenly going AWOL. These are just a couple of the persistent myths orbiting the origins of America’s quintessential dessert: the chocolate chip cookie. Thanks to Ford’s kid-friendly exposé, Ruth Wakefield’s smarts and business savvy are revealed to be the true sources of the cookie’s invention. Not only was Wakefield the chef for the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts, she also managed the restaurant. Daring to start a business with her husband just as the Great Depression hit, Wakefield’s dedication to quality paid off. In 1938, wanting to change up her popular butterscotch cookie, Wakefield added bits of a Nestle’s chocolate bar to the dough and—voilà! From kitchens across the country to the care packages sent to homesick World War II soldiers, the chocolate chip cookie was soon everywhere. In fact, Nestle created the chocolate chip specifically for Wakefield’s recipe. Ford’s illustrations successfully evoke the 1930s and ’40s, down to the comic-strip half-tone dot effect of the different cookie-genesis scenarios. However, Ford misses the opportunity to depict among the diners the famous personages mentioned in his author’s note, and his pictorial rendition of the cookie queen is strangely unsympathetic—staff grimace behind her back as she critically frowns at their work. Quibbles aside, pastry chefs in the making will be fascinated by this accessible tribute to a true American icon and will be tempted to try the appended cookie recipe. (Picture book/biography. 5-9)
I will be headlining story Hour at Greenlight Books in both Fort Greene and Lefferts Gardens on Saturday, June 24th where I will read and draw from The Marvelous Thing That Came From A Spring.
I will begin in Fort Greene at 11:30 AM
686 Fulton Street
Then I will be at the Lefferts Gardens store at 1:30 PM
632 Flatbush Ave
In case you were wondering, yes, I do school and skype visits.
I have done a variety of presentations for schools, ranging from kindergarten through college.
For elementary visits, my presentations tend to be 30 minutes that include a slide show, a reading from the book, some drawing time, and a Q & A. I can do up to three presentations in a day.
I visited Washington D.C. to promote Soldier Song with author, Debbie Levy. We began the book tour with a school visit at Mt. Rainier Elementary set up by An Open Book Foundation. An Open Book schedules author and illustrator visits in underserved schools around the Washington D.C. area and purchases a book for each child to take home with them.
Then Debbie and I showed the 5th graders Soldier Song. Soldier Song is a timely, important book that tells the story of a divided America that finds common ground through music during the Civil War. Debbie began with a history lesson slide show on the Civil War, which included sound clips of bugles and the popular song of its day, Home Sweet Home. Then I joined in with a short art lesson. I talked about the three artistic elements that went into developing the book: symbolism, warm and cool colors, and emotion, giving examples of each in a slide show. After that, I drew for the students, calling on suggestions from the crowd for symbols that represent “Home.” Once the symbolic picture was completed, Debbie and I answered questions about the book.
After that, Debbie read from I Dissent to the 6th graders and gave an inspiring lesson on Ruth Ginsburg.
The next day, we made three more stops in Virginia, promoting just Soldier Song. We began at Belle View Elementary, presenting for 200 students, grade 3-5. Then we stopped by Alexandria Country Day School for 70 students, and completed the tour at Congressional School of Virginia for 70 students. The students at all three schools were engaged and asked good questions.
We ended the day with a quick visit to Politics and Prose and a celebratory dinner with children’s book writers from around the D.C. area. Washington has a truly vibrant and eclectic writer community!