Monday, November 7, 2016
The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale (15th Anniversary Edition with Bonus Cookie Recipe and Pattern for St. Nicholas Cookies) by Aaron Shepard, Wendy Edelson (Illustrator)
Van Amsterdam the baker was well known for his honesty as well as for his fine Saint Nicholas cookies. He always gave his customers exactly what they paid for -- not more, and not less. So, how could he agree with a mysterious old woman on Saint Nicholas Day when she insists that a dozen is thirteen?
The woman's curse puts an end to the baker's business, and he believes it would take Saint Nicholas to help him. But if he receives that help, will it be exactly what he imagined?
Find out in this inspiring legend from Dutch colonial New York about the birth of an honored American custom.
About The Author and Illustrator
Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of "The Sea King's Daughter," "The Legend of Lightning Larry," "The Adventures of Mouse Deer," and many more children's books. His stories have appeared often in Cricket magazine, while his Web site is known internationally as a prime resource for folktales, storytelling, and reader's theater.
Wendy Edelson has applied her award-winning skills to a wide range of illustration projects, including picture books, pet portraits, posters, puzzles, and fabric design. Her clients have included Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the U.S. Postal Service, and the American Library Association.
One Saint Nicholas Day morning, the baker was just ready for business, when the door of his shop flew open. In walked an old woman, wrapped in a long black shawl.
"I have come for a dozen of your Saint Nicholas cookies."
Taking a tray, Van Amsterdam counted out twelve cookies. He started to wrap them, but the woman reached out and stopped him.
"I asked for a dozen. You have given me only twelve."
"Madam," said the baker, "everyone knows that a dozen is twelve."
"But I say a dozen is thirteen," said the woman. "Give me one more."
Van Amsterdam was not a man to bear foolishness. "Madam, my customers get exactly what they pay for -- not more and not less."
"Then you may keep the cookies."
The woman turned to go, but stopped at the door.
"Van Amsterdam! However honest you may be, your heart is small and your fist is tight. Fall again, mount again, learn how to count again!"
Then she was gone.
I know what a baker’s dozen is, but my boys did not and they quickly gathered around while I read them this beautiful Christmas story. Being of Dutch decent made this story even more attractive to them, and the drawing and colors used drew them in quickly.
The author has done a wonderful job of engaging children, and adults, quickly into this educational story. Told in a way that kept their attention and filled with drawings that matched beautifully with the story.
This book is a real keeper for our home, and it will be displayed on our coffee table, so our friends and family may also enjoy over the Christmas season.
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Skyhook Press, and was not required to give a positive review.