Read On!

Mrs. Farquharson’s musings about books for children and young adults

Books for “Foodies”


There are some people who quietly, or with great acclaim, have made a difference in the areas of food and history. Two newly published picture book biographies celebrate a man and a woman who have influenced changes in society through their cooking.

gingerMara Rockliff’s spare text is complemented by Vincent X. Kirsch’s cut-paper illustrations in the delicious book, Gingerbread for Liberty! How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution (HMH, 2015). Christopher Ludwick was a German baker from Philadelphia who is a forgotten hero from the American Revolution. Ludwick had come to America as an adult who had grown up baking with his father in Germany and serving as a soldier and sailor for his homeland. When he established a bakery in Philadelphia, he became especially known for his gingerbread. Even though he was a bit old to fight, Ludwick went to join George Washington and serve the Continental Army by baking for the hungry troupes. He even went on a secret mission to lure some of the British soldiers over to the American side. In 1785, George Washington wrote a letter praising Ludwick for his service and describing him as a “true and faithful servant to the public.” Today there is a scholarship for needy children in Philadelphia that is given by the Christopher Ludwick Foundation.

aliceIf one wants to eat at Alice Waters’ restaurant, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, CA, it might take weeks to obtain a reservation. Waters is responsible for the important food movement in the United States where cooks depend on fresh and local food. Jacqueline Briggs Martin joined illustrator Hayelin Choi to share Waters’ life in Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious (Readers to Eaters, 2014). Waters has taken her philosophy to schools with her project, Edible Schoolyards.

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