Alyson Beecher over at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts a Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge and has a roundup every Wednesday. I love the encouragement to explore more non-fiction. I am thankful that she has this challenge because I know I have read more nonfiction texts as a result.
In this amazing book, readers are taken to four different time periods visiting four different families making what looks to be a truly scrumptious dessert - blackberry fool. I haven't yet made it since I am waiting for the appropriate season, but you can bet I will. I adored the illustrations and Sophie Blackall paid attention to detail as she created the lovely pictures. She shared some of the process on her blog (click on the title in the tags below the post to see all of the entries). You may see the decisions and the research that went into many of her illustrations. She even shares about the endpapers. I love it when I see something other than white endpapers. She used blackberry juice to make them. Very cool. Also, if you have a copy of the book that isn't covered for library use, do take the jacket off. The cover is also beautiful.
The text is awesome too. Looking for changes over time is a key component of our social studies curriculum. This book is a perfect way to show that even cooking can have changes over the years. For older students especially, you can talk a lot about the social changes as well as the invention of tools and even as I noticed, the change in diet. It is only later that people are adding refined sugar to the whipping cream. Another interesting aspect to discuss would be where people are getting the raw materials.
There is so much to love about this book. If you want to know more, be sure and visit Sophie's blog, but also read the Publisher's Weekly interview with both Emily and Sophie.