Monday, March 30, 2015

The Little Crooked Bookshelf

by Emily Jenkins & Sophie Blackall

This week's pick is from Cottager Anika Denise

What it's all about… 
Four families, in four different cities, over four centuries, make the same delicious dessert: blackberry fool.

Why it's on the Little Crooked Bookshelf…
This is a beautiful book. In concept, language, illustrations and artifact, there is so much to love.

Our favorite lines...
The girl washed the berries in
water from the well. Then she 
smashed them through a tin sieve
with the back of a spoon, getting 
rid of the seeds.
Together, she and her mother
poured sugar on the fruit and 
then mixed it with the cream.
"You may lick the spoon, child,"
the woman said.
So the girl did.

Our favorite illustrations…

© 2015 Sophie Blackall 
© 2015 Sophie Blackall 2015
© 2015 Sophie Blackall 
Why kids will love it… 
First, it's about a dessert—a positively scrumptious-sounding dessert, and Jenkins' delicately descriptive prose makes you want to taste the berries and lick sweet cream off the spoon. Children will pore over Blackall's deliciously detailed illustrations with equal delight.

Why grown-ups will love it... 
In addition to being a satisfying read aloud, it's a subtle history lesson, folded gently into the changes of costume, landscape, and recipe techniques through the ages. But one thing remains constant: blackberry fool is a dessert to be savored and enjoyed. And the same goes for this fine gem of a picture book.


  1. I adore the endpapers, as well as the notes from Emily and Sophie about their research process! Glorious book indeed.

    1. Yes! Every inch and detail of this book is delicious! Thanks for reading and commenting, Cathy!