Gingerbread for Liberty! How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution

Mara Rockliff, illus. by Vincent X. Kirsch. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-544-13001-2
Rockliff (The Grudge Keeper) and Kirsch (Noah Webster and His Words) pay playful tribute to a Revolutionary War hero whose legacy lies in his culinary talent. Just before the outbreak of the war, Christopher Ludwick emigrated from Germany to Philadelphia, where he set up a bakeshop specializing in gingerbread (“the best in all the thirteen colonies”) and let no one go hungry: “No empty bellies here!” he booms. “Not in my America!” Ludwick shrewdly uses his baking skills after enrolling in Washington’s army to feed both colonial troops and British-hired German soldiers, in an effort to persuade them to defect to the patriots’ side. Working in watercolor, Kirsch takes a cue from Ludwick’s baking to create characters that resemble gingerbread cookies with white icinglike details; speech-balloon comments add another layer of humor to the story. Rockliff’s story celebrates an unheralded historical figure, reinforces the value of creatively employing one’s skills, and reminds readers that heroes can be found in surprising places. A gingerbread cookie recipe appears on the endpapers. Ages 6–9. Author’s agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis. (Jan.)■
Reviewed on: 11/17/2014
Release date: 01/13/2015
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 32 pages - 978-0-544-46566-4
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