Mr. Emerson's Cookby Judy Schachner
Weaving together reality and fiction, author-illustrator Judith Schachner has created an extraordinary book that centers around American philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson prefers the warm colors of a sunset to a warm bowl of soup and professes to live by imagination alone. In fact, he cares so little for what food is put before him that he has stopped eating. Enter Annie Burns, newly arrived from Ireland, who feels up to the challenge of cooking for the great man and his household. At first, Annie fails at her job, but she solves her dilemma by taking inspiration from the great man himself. It is only when she lets loose her own poetic imagination that she achieves the success Mr. Emerson writes about so stirringly. With lyrical language that begs to be read aloud and illustrations full of whimsy and warmth, this book extols not only the brilliant Mr. Emerson but the transporting power of the imagination. The contrast between the dreamy philosopher and his frank, down-to-earth cook makes for a wonderful read and provides a unique view into one of America�s most original thinkers. In the tradition of Michael Bedard�s Emily, it opens the world of history and literature to young readers while involving them in a story rich in character and atmosphere. Meticulously researched and painted, laced with quotes, filled with priceless caricatures of Emerson, and told with charm and vigor, the book is as satisfying as the dishes Annie creates. Judith Byron Schachner is the great-granddaughter of Annie Burns Byron, Mr. Emerson�s cook. School Library Journal called her book Willy and May a marvelous intergenerational story for all seasons.
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