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Peeny Butter Fudge

Peeny Butter Fudge

4.6 3
by Toni Morrison, Slade Morrison, Joe Cepeda (Illustrator)

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Snuggle, snuggle.
Time to rest.
Nana joins us in her nest.

There is no one like Nana in the whole wide world. She is the best. Nana knows how to take an ordinary afternoon and make it extra special! Nap time, story time, and playtime are transformed by fairies, dragons, dancing, and pretending -- and then mixing and fixing


Snuggle, snuggle.
Time to rest.
Nana joins us in her nest.

There is no one like Nana in the whole wide world. She is the best. Nana knows how to take an ordinary afternoon and make it extra special! Nap time, story time, and playtime are transformed by fairies, dragons, dancing, and pretending -- and then mixing and fixing yummy, yummy fudge just like Nana and Mommy did not so many years ago....

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison and her son Slade tell a story of what really goes on when Nana is left in charge!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“12:00 Lunch, 1:15 Nap, 2:25 Playground...” read Mama's instructions, posted to the fridge. But when three children spend the afternoon with Nana, the schedule is forgotten. No TV for them: it's stories (“Fairies, dragons everywhere./ Creepy things under the stairs”), potato sack races, dancing to music from a record player and making “peeny butter fudge” (recipe included). The only moment of doubt occurs when Mama comes home to find three fudge-splattered children and a wreck of a kitchen. But the smell of fudge triggers a mental photograph of Mama making fudge as a child (“My mother taught me,” Nana tells the children, “and I taught yours”), and the story ends with a hug. Cepeda's (Mice and Beans) smudgy, intensely colored paintings keep the action moving and convey a house overflowing with warmth. The Morrisons' (The Book of Mean People) slant rhyme text is occasionally slapdash (“Peeny butter, peeny butter/ Nana is the best grandmother”), but versifying rules are for grownups. This is a vision of family life that many kids, rushed from soccer practice to violin lessons, will regard with envy. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
This is one of several books done by Toni Morrison and her son Slade—quite different from her award winning novels. Morrison says this one was inspired by her grandchildren. Certainly what stands out most is how the book is clearly a loving appreciation of family between generations. Mamma leaves the kids with Granny with a list of instructions. But Granny and the kids manage to turn everything from nap to meal times into a recipe for fun. Mom returns to find the kitchen a shambles as Granny and the kids make her specialty—peanut butter fudge, instead eating the healthy granola bar snack on the list. Mom's first reaction is distress but the smell of the fudge brings back the memory of making the same treat with her mother. The rhyming text does not always scan smoothly but Joe Cepeda's pictures are bright and lively enough to carry the positive message. In any case, the Morrison family recipe for Peeny Butter Fudge at the end of the book makes this a good investment. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—When Mom leaves her three children with their exuberant Nana, they play games, hop about in potato sacks, and dance under the chandelier. They also have lunch: "Yummy, lummy. Yummy, lummy./So much happy in the tummy./Look at what our nana made us:/biscuits, ham, and lemonade-us." Their messy fun is apparent as Mom returns while they are making peanut butter fudge. This spirited African-American family is joyfully portrayed in bright oil-paint spreads. Chocolate covers their clothing, food splatters the floor, and the cat peers down from the top of the refrigerator, the freezer door open. The irregular rhymes energize the brief poems, highlighting the love displayed from generation to generation when Grandma shares the cherished family recipe. "My mother taught me,/and I taught yours./Don't ever forget how it's done,/for you will have to pass it on." A scene in which Mom recalls making the dessert when she was a child features wavy lines and muted shades of blue. The illustrations extend the narrative, adding humor and warmth to this offering.—Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC
Kirkus Reviews
Joyful exuberance abounds in this mother-son collaboration that celebrates family ties and the joys of eating peanut-butter fudge. Mother leaves her three children in the care of Nana with a long list of virtuous instructions (lunch: peas, carrot sticks, fish fingers) that seems imperiled by a grandmother who wears high-top red sneakers. And in danger they are. To a playfully rhyming text, the whole crew starts out with a nap, followed by a story, a potato-sack hop, a yummy lunch (biscuits and ham; no carrot sticks visible), dancing, games and finally the fudge recipe, which is a "family secret." Mother returns and-thank goodness-memories (in misty black and white) of preparing that same recipe quickly erase her horror. Cepeda's brightly rendered oil paints in hot shades of green, pink, blue and yellow can barely contain the mayhem and mess. A fast-paced read-aloud that celebrates intergenerational love with a mixing-bowl-ful of humor and just a teaspoon of irreverence. Fudge recipe included. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.60(d)
AD360L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize–winning American author, editor, and professor. Her contributions to the modern canon are numerous. Some of her acclaimed titles include: The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature 1993.

Slade Morrison was born in Ohio and educated in New York City. He studied art at SUNY Purchase and collaborated with his mother, Toni Morrison, on five books for children.

Joe Cepeda is the illustrator of many award-winning picture books, including Peeny Butter Fudge and The Tortoise or the Hare by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison, What a Truly Cool World by Julius Lester, Mice and Beans by Pam Muñoz Ryan, and Gracias the Thanksgiving Turkey by Joy Cowley. Mr. Cepeda received his BFA in illustration from California State University, Long Beach. His illustrations have appeared in publications such as the Los Angeles Times; Buzz, Inc. Magazine; and Latina Magazine.

Brief Biography

Princeton, New Jersey, and Manhattan
Date of Birth:
February 18, 1931
Place of Birth:
Lorain, Ohio
Howard University, B.A. in English, 1953; Cornell, M.A., 1955

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Peeny Butter Fudge 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MissKathy52 More than 1 year ago
I bought the book for my granddaughter, but of course I had to read it first. I love Toni Morrison's writing anyway and I figured a book written for kids would be great too. I was not disappointed and Nana reminded me of being with my paternal grandmother when I was that age. The fudge recipe is pretty good too!! My granddaughter will love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago