Don't Forget

Overview

Sarah didn't think the Singers talked about long ago. That was when the Nazis gave them the blue numbers and put them in the concentration camp -- just because they were Jews.

As Sarah buys ingredients for a surprise cake for her mother, the shopkeepers tell her not to forget their baking secrets. But Mr. and Mrs. Singer have another secret that makes Sarah afraid to even enter their store -- until they teach her the life-affirming message that...

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Overview

Sarah didn't think the Singers talked about long ago. That was when the Nazis gave them the blue numbers and put them in the concentration camp -- just because they were Jews.

As Sarah buys ingredients for a surprise cake for her mother, the shopkeepers tell her not to forget their baking secrets. But Mr. and Mrs. Singer have another secret that makes Sarah afraid to even enter their store -- until they teach her the life-affirming message that no matter how difficult, the past should never be forgotten.

While buying the ingredients for her first cake--a surprise for her mother's birthday--Sarah shares secrets with the friendly neighborhood shopkeepeers, especially with the Singers, who have blue numbers on their arms.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sarah is planning to surprise her mother by baking her first cake, and as she collects ingredients and baking tips from local storekeepers, she learns a valuable lesson. Set in the same post-WW II era as Lakin's The Palace of Stars , this unassuming tale warmly evokes a close-knit community. But all is not sunny nostalgia. Sarah dreads going to the Singers' store, but has no other choice. Once in, she looks fixedly at Mr. Singer's gold-rimmed glasses, at the fan that hangs from the tin ceiling--at everything except the blue numbers tattooed on the Singers' left arms. She is startled when Mrs. Singer reminds her husband of something that happened ``a long time ago''; she assumes that the Singers never think about the past (``That was when the Nazis gave them the blue numbers and put them in the concentration camps--just because they were Jews''). Mrs. Singer, however, tells Sarah it is okay to look at the tattoos: ``The numbers should never be a secret. . . . If no one knows about bad things, they can happen all over again.'' The portrayal of a child frightened of raising demons from the past is very real and intelligently drawn. Rand's sepia-hued, light-splashed watercolors have a wonderful period feel. A nice final touch is the recipe for Sarah's first cake. Ages 5-up. (May)
Publishers Weekly
Sarah is planning to surprise her mother by baking her first cake, and she collects ingredients and baking tips from local storekeepers, who are Holocaust survivors. In a starred review, PW said, "The portrayal of a child frightened of raising demons from the past is very real and intelligently drawn." Ages 5-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Remember when city neighborhoods were friendly places where a child was given a special treat by shopkeepers? Patricia Lakin recalls that time, after W.W.II. Sarah wants to surprise her mother with a birthday sponge cake made exclusively by her. At each shop, she is given a sure-fire tip for success. The recipe is included. Rand's pictures recreate the city neighborhood with warmth and charm.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Bagel
Author Patricia Lakin grew up in a Jewish neighborhood where many of the shopkeepers were Holocaust survivors. She gently weaves them into this story about eight-year-old Sarah, who sets off to buy the ingredients to make a surprise birthday cake for her mother. With every stop on her shopping trip in this postwar Jewish neighborhood, Sarah learns special secrets to help make the perfect sponge cake-first from Lazar, the greengrocer, then from the baker Mrs. Koretsky. And finally from the Singers, where she also learns another secret that she will never forget. The recipe for "Sarah's First Cake, an Orange Sponge Cake" is included.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Eight-year-old Sarah, preparing to bake her first cake-a surprise for her mother's birthday-shops for the ingredients. Each shopkeeper gives her a baking tip, playfully warning her not to forget the secret. Her last stop is Singer's Grocery, a store run by Holocaust survivors. Sarah cannot keep from staring at the numbers tattooed on their arms. As Mrs. Singer leads the child into the kitchen where she has invited her to bake, she tells her that the numbers are not a secret and that no one should ever forget them. She also gives the girl a little baking tip-to kiss the pan-and tells her a sweet story about her youth. At last, with her cake in hand, Sarah heads home with Mrs. Singer issuing one final reminder: ``Be sure to tell your Mama you made this cake by yourself.'' This is a lighthearted, old-fashioned story with a repeating chorus that children will love. Rand's painterly illustrations perfectly capture the postwar neighborhood and Sarah's pleasure in making her present. However, the serious Holocaust element seems out of sync with the rest of the ``don't forgets.'' While David Adler's The Number on My Grandfather's Arm (UAHC, 1987) treats this topic more appropriately, Sarah's story is still a charming one.-Marcia Posner, Federation of New York and the Jewish Book Council, New York City
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688175221
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years

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