The Bake Shop Ghost

( 3 )

Overview

The charming story of a cranky old ghost who haunts the bake shop she used to own is now in paperback!

Cora Lee Merriweather had a lemon pucker mouth and hair scraped back into a hard little bun. Cora Lee also baked the best pies and cakes for miles. But now Cora Lee haunts the shop she used to own. When new bakers arrive to take over her empty bake shop, she scares them away. Then Annie Washington comes to town, and it seems Cora Lee has met ...

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Overview

The charming story of a cranky old ghost who haunts the bake shop she used to own is now in paperback!

Cora Lee Merriweather had a lemon pucker mouth and hair scraped back into a hard little bun. Cora Lee also baked the best pies and cakes for miles. But now Cora Lee haunts the shop she used to own. When new bakers arrive to take over her empty bake shop, she scares them away. Then Annie Washington comes to town, and it seems Cora Lee has met her match.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Chock-full of fluffy meringue pies and a forlorn poltergeist, this culinary ghost story shows how, with a little determination, two cooks can learn to share a single kitchen. Miss Cora Lee Merriweather's bakery is "the best bake shop in these parts-maybe even in the whole state," and "the chocolate in her Mississippi mud pie was darker than the devil's own heart." After Cora Lee's death, her cantankerous ghost chases away succeeding owners of the bake shop, but she finally meets her match in tenacious Annie Washington. Ogburn's (The Magic Nesting Doll) languid, Southern imagery brims with delicious food puns and alliteration (in her quest to please Cora Lee, Annie "made tortes and tarts, babkas and bundts, pound cake and panforte"), and closes with a "Ghost-Pleasing Chocolate Cake" recipe. Priceman's (Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin) free-flowing, Bemelmans-style artwork, on the other hand, at times seem mismatched, depicting scenes that look as if they are set in France. Even the "preacher" at Cora Lee's funeral is pictured in an elaborate church wearing a formal priest's cassock. Still, Priceman's energetic, loose lined paintings show as much comedy as spookiness, while Cora Lee swoops around the kitchen breaking plates and eggs and strewing flour. Miss Cora Lee Merriweather's "lemon-pucker mouth" is finally transformed to sunny, buttercream yellow when Annie comes up with the perfect way to make peace. Readers will likely enjoy this unusual contest, and the surprise twist ending. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Cora Lee Merriweather's bakeshop was by far the best bakeshop in town: Townsfolk swore by her fruit tarts, chocolate cakes and meringue pies. Most folks paid little attention to Cora Lee herself. It is a good thing, too, since Cora Lee was the most sour-faced woman you ever wanted to know. When she died, the whole town turned out to mourn her demise. As she had no family, the bakeshop was sold. Soon after, it became apparent that the bakeshop had a ghost—Miss Cora Lee Merriweather! Buyer after buyer tried their luck with the store, but each person was evicted by the ghost of Cora Lee—until the arrival of Annie Washington. Annie was the baker on a cruise ship and is looking for a cozy kitchen that does not rock up and down. Annie and Cora Lee go head-to-head in the struggle to determine who will rule the bakeshop kitchen. It looks like an insurmountable challenge until Annie makes a cake so rich and so sweet, it fills Cora Lee up and brings tears to her eyes. Line drawings with soft watercolors add to the ghostly humor of this delightful tale. The multicultural aspect of the story is refreshingly incidental. A delightful read-aloud for primary grades. 2005, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 5 to 8.
—Carole J. McCollough
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-The best cakes in town are made by Miss Cora Lee Merriweather, and when she dies, her ghost comes back to haunt the bake shop and harass any new owners until they leave. Years later, the establishment is bought by Annie Washington, the best baker ever to have worked on the Sea Star cruise ships. The ghost tries to scare this young woman into leaving as well, but to no avail. When Annie asks what she can do to be able to work in peace, Cora Lee asks for a cake "so rich and so sweet, it will fill me up and bring tears to my eyes. A cake like one-no one ever made for me." Annie bakes one good cake after another but doesn't discover the right one until she does some research at the library. Finally, Annie produces a birthday cake, and her present to Cora Lee is to call the shop Washington & Merriweather. Annie is an African-American woman with pluck who uses intelligence and kindness to win over a grouchy ghost. Priceman's illustrations are charming, with dashes of color and humor and a sense of action in each one. The art surrounds the text on most pages, causing readers to feel immersed in the plot. With two such wonderfully strong female characters, this is a delightful story with a satisfying conclusion.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Cora Lee Merriweather may have a sour lemon-pucker mouth, but she makes the sweetest cakes around. When the elderly baker dies and the Merriweather Bake Shop is sold, Cora Lee's ghost is not happy: "Get out of my kitchen!" the furious phantom shouts at the first three owners. They do. Years later, however, a fearless African-American pastry chef named Annie Washington falls in love with the shop. Cora Lee goes in for the kill, shrieking, smashing eggs, the whole works, until the baker finally breaks: " 'Enough!' Annie cried. 'What do you want?' " Cora Lee mysteriously demands a cake "like one I might have baked, but that no one ever made for me." "Piece of cake," Annie says. But neither babkas nor bundts can scratch Cora Lee's itch, until Annie visits the library and discovers what the long-ago orphaned baker really wants. Priceman's gleeful watercolor-and-ink illustrations capture Cora Lee's ghostly hauntings with all the right swoops and swirls in this sweet story of how generous dollops of perseverance and kindness make the perfect cake. (recipe) (Picture book. 6-8)
From the Publisher
"Priceman's gleeful watercolor-and-ink illustrations capture Cora Lee's ghostly hauntings with all the right swoops and swirls in this sweet story of how generous dollops of perseverance and kindness make the perfect cake."—Kirkus, starred Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"Mouths will water just as surely as hearts warm at the story's touching conclusion."—Booklist, starred Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

"Chock-full of fluffy meringue pies and forlorn poltergeist, this culinary ghost story shows how, with a little determination, two cooks can learn to share a single kitchen."—Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547076775
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/8/2008
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 519,662
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: NC880L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Marjorie Priceman has illustrated many books for children, including the Caldecott Honor-winning books Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin and Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride. Marjorie lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.


Jacqueline K. Ogburn worked as an editor at New York publishing houses for a decade before moving to a new home in North Carolina, raising her children, and beginning a second career as a children's book author.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2006

    A Mouth-Watering Story

    I bought this for my 5-year-old daughter at Christmas. We have read it together many times in just the past month. She loves the illustrations and I love the conflict between two strong-willed women and the way in which it's resolved to each one's satisfaction. I'd recommend it for girls or boys -- even though the main characters are female, the ghost angle makes it interesting for our neighbor boys! We also enjoyed making the cake whose recipe is included at the end of the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

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    Posted November 10, 2009

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