The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale

The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale

by Aaron Shepard, Wendy Edelson
     
 

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Ever wondered where the term, baker's dozen, came from? An unusual holiday tale coupled with old folk tradition creates a world where it's not uncommon for Saint Nicholas to make appearances and Christmas magic to come in the form of cookies. A local banker learns an important lesson in generosity. Rich color illustrations throughout.

Overview

Ever wondered where the term, baker's dozen, came from? An unusual holiday tale coupled with old folk tradition creates a world where it's not uncommon for Saint Nicholas to make appearances and Christmas magic to come in the form of cookies. A local banker learns an important lesson in generosity. Rich color illustrations throughout.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
A Saint Nicholas tale that not only speaks to the true spirit of Christmas, but explains the origin of the term "bakers dozen." The setting is a Dutch colonial town in New York and its baker Van Amsterdam is known for his Saint Nicholas cookies. When he refuses to accept an old woman's statement that she wants a dozen of his famous cookies and that to her a dozen is thirteen, everything in his life starts to crumble. Eventually with the help of Saint Nicholas, the baker learns the spirit of generosity, and he and his business thrive again. And from that day on, a baker's dozen has always been thirteen.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
With the voice of the storyteller, Aaron Shepard retells a favorite Colonial legend. With elegant, opulent paintings, the Colonial setting is depicted in golden hues. When the baker, Van Amsterdam, refuses to give an old woman an extra St. Nicholas cookie as part of her dozen, she utters a curse, "Fall again, mount again, learn how to count again!" As his business crumbles, Van Amsterdam learns the lesson of generosity. This tradition of 13, a baker's dozen, is still a practice with some bakeries.
Ilene Cooper
A particularly nice holiday story accented by paintings full of detail. Based on a folktale from the colonial period, this tells of a baker named Van Amsterdam, who, though honest, is not exactly generous. When an old woman comes to his shop for gingerbread cookies made in the shape of Saint Nicholas, she asks for a baker's dozen of 13. Van Amsterdam insists that a dozen consists of 12. After that, his cookies seem bewitched: they burn or taste awful. Only after Saint Nicholas comes to him in a dream does he realize that being honest doesn't preclude being open-handed. Well paced and a good length for groups or individuals, this is right on target for audiences. Edelson's artwork is filled with marvelously alive characters who almost step from the pages. Reminiscent of Jan Brett's work, at least in their detail, the pictures are the sort kids will enjoy looking at for many holidays to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689802980
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
10/01/1995
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.12(w) x 9.22(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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