Book Buzz: Winter Cake
written and illustrated by Lynn Rae Perkins
Ages 4-7, Greenwillow Books, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
“Where is that basket?” Thomas said. And with that, the adventure begins. You see, Thomas has lost his basket full of fresh dried cherries, apricots, walnuts, assorted berries, apples, plums… and grapes! You don’t want to forget the grapes! How is he going to make his annual winter cake without all the wonderful fruits to go in it?
Along with his friend Lucy he looks everywhere throughout the forest. Soon, the winter weather sets in and Lucy has to go home. Thomas is forced to call it a day and go inside as the cold, snowy winds blow.
But, Lucy! Lucy isn’t finished yet with the search. She finds herself blown off course and lands in front of a warm and cherry forest tea room where all the woodland creatures are having warm tea and pastries. While she’s warming up to her hot cup of tea, she overhears a stranger telling others how he had come across this beautiful basket of dried fruit. The scoundrel, Lucy thought! How could he steal poor Thomas’ basket of fruit?!
She follows him out into the weather straight to Thomas’ little room in the hole of a tree. “I think this may be yours,” said the stranger. Thomas is overjoyed to have his basket of dried fruit back. Now he can make his cake. The stranger turns and leaves.
Lucy, on the other hand, is so embarrassed! She thought the stranger was a thief! Of course, this is a lesson in itself: don’t be too quick to judge! She tells Thomas about her misadventure.
So, Thomas and Lucy set out to make things right by baking the most wonderful winter cake you’ve ever seen.
But where is the stranger to share it with? Another adventure to find the caring stranger ensues to thank him for his good deed.
Perkins’ watercolor illustrations create the loneliness of a frosty winter night and the warm glow of friendship that permeates the holiday season. The traditional holiday fruit cake will never seem the same after reading The Winter Cake with your young ones.
Chuck Galey writes and illustrates children’s picture books. Visit his website to see what he’s up to at www.chuckgaley.com.