If you missed yesterday's post about Deborah Hopkinson's A Letter to My Teacher, check it out here. Today we take a look at Hopkinson's other book, Independence Cake.
Independence Cake: A Revolutionary Confection Inspired by Amelia Simmons, Whose True History is Unfortunately Unknown
by Deborah Hopkinson; Illustrated by Giselle Potter
Random House/Schwartz & Wade (May 9, 2017)
Fiction * Historical * United States
Audience: Ages 4 to 7
Indiebound | WorldCat
Description for GoodReads:
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!
Quick thoughts about the book:
Sometimes a phrase just catches you and makes you smile. When I read the full title of the book, I couldn't help smiling at the last part "Whose True History is Unfortunately Unknown". This phrase seems like it could be both a gift and a curse for a writer. Do you attempt to write something as historically accurate as possible with what little information you have or do you go off and simply have some fun creating a story based on a kernel of information? Hopkinson seems to have found a balance with Independence Cake.
There is a lot in the book that would be true of the time period for when Amelia Simmons lived. However, as a woman and a poor one at that, there would be little about her actual life. And yet, it is enjoyable to imagine Amelia finding a certain element of success in taking her experiences as a family cook (among other jobs) to making a cake for George Washington's inauguration and eventually creating a cookbook.
The book concludes with some additional information about Amelia Simmons and a recipe for Independence Cake, at least if you want to make more than a dozen of them.
If you are looking for a story about a young girl with a "can do" spirit and enjoy a tale about baking, then pick up a copy of Independence Cake at your local bookstore or public library.
Thanks again to Deborah Hopkinson for appearing. For other stops on the Hopkinson Double Blog Tour please check deborahhopkinson.com. #DoubleBlogTour.