The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale

The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale

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Overview

The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale by Aaron Shepard, Wendy Edelson

Van Amsterdam the baker was well known for his honesty as well as for his fine Saint Nicholas cookies. He always gave his customers exactly what they paid for -- not more, and not less. So, how could he agree with a mysterious old woman on Saint Nicholas Day when she insists that a dozen is thirteen?

The woman's curse puts an end to the baker's business, and he believes it would take Saint Nicholas to help him. But if he receives that help, will it be exactly what he imagined?

Find out in this inspiring legend from Dutch colonial New York about the birth of an honored American custom.

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Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of "The Sea King's Daughter," "The Legend of Lightning Larry," "The Adventures of Mouse Deer," and many more children's books. His stories have appeared often in Cricket magazine, while his Web site is known internationally as a prime resource for folktales, storytelling, and reader's theater.

Wendy Edelson has applied her award-winning skills to a wide range of illustration projects, including picture books, pet portraits, posters, puzzles, and fabric design. Her clients have included Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the U.S. Postal Service, and the American Library Association.

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American Bookseller Pick of the Lists

Trumpet Book Club selection

Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children

"The good will of legendary Saint Nick resonates in this tale about the origin of the term 'baker's dozen.' . . . Shepard's easy-to-follow retelling has an appropriate Old World flavor." -- Publishers Weekly, Sept. 18, 1995

"A particularly nice holiday story accented by paintings full of detail. . . . 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." -- Ilene Cooper, Booklist, Sept. 15, 1995

"A lush new version of a traditional tale. . . . Well-chosen words and a nicely-paced text that begs to be told aloud. A treat for the holiday season." -- School Library Journal, Oct. 1995

"Aaron Shepard retells a favorite colonial legend with the voice of the storyteller." -- Jan Lieberman, TNT, Fall 1995

"A fine tale of generosity for St. Nicholas Day or any day." -- Marilyn McPhie, Storybag, Special Review Issue 1997

"A story with a message to be heard during the holidays and all year long." -- Children's Book Review

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SAMPLE

One Saint Nicholas Day morning, the baker was just ready for business, when the door of his shop flew open. In walked an old woman, wrapped in a long black shawl.

"I have come for a dozen of your Saint Nicholas cookies."

Taking a tray, Van Amsterdam counted out twelve cookies. He started to wrap them, but the woman reached out and stopped him.

"I asked for a dozen. You have given me only twelve."

"Madam," said the baker, "everyone knows that a dozen is twelve."

"But I say a dozen is thirteen," said the woman. "Give me one more."

Van Amsterdam was not a man to bear foolishness. "Madam, my customers get exactly what they pay for -- not more and not less."

"Then you may keep the cookies."

The woman turned to go, but stopped at the door.

"Van Amsterdam! However honest you may be, your heart is small and your fist is tight. Fall again, mount again, learn how to count again!"

Then she was gone.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780938497486
Publisher: Shepard Publications
Publication date: 11/18/2010
Pages: 40
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

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The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
reececo331 More than 1 year ago
The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale (Hardcover) by Aaron Shepard Learning to value the act of gifting, not that people get only what they pay for but all should get a little bit more. The artistry of the book is similar to the old world books, with beautiful rendition of folk art.
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
The Baker’s Dozen, is a modern take on a traditional tale of why a baker’s dozen is thirteen and not twelve. Van Amsterdam, runs his little bakery in Albany, New York, a Dutch Colonial. Every day he prepares his goods, and makes sure that he weighs out his ingredients perfectly, as he likes to be a very honest man and give nothing less, nor nothing more than what his customers are paying for. In the lead up to Saint Nicholas day, which is celebrated on the 6th December, by the Dutch, Van Amsterdam was very busy. His famous Saint Nicholas cookies were selling very well. That is until an old lady comes in and asks for a dozen of them. He counts them out, twelve cookies, but she insists that a dozen in thirteen. When Van Amsterdam won’t let her have thirteen for the price of twelve, she leaves, but not before telling him, ‘Fall again, mount again, learnt to count again’. Over the next year, his bread and cakes turn out badly and his customers start to go elsewhere. Has the old woman put a curse on him?, and how can he make his shop successful again? I’ve never really given much thought as to why a bakers dozen is thirteen, but I love this folk tale about why it came to be. The illustrations have an old feel to them, just like you will find in a traditional book. The story is attention grabbing, and has you thinking that sometimes doing just enough isn’t good enough, and going that extra mile can make someones day. A perfect book for the holiday season, that I’m sure young children will love.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: The Baker's Dozen - A Saint Nicholas Tale - 15th Anniversary Edition Author: Aaron Shepard & Wendie Edelson Published: 12-6-2010 Publisher: Skyhook Press Pages: 32 Genre: Children's Literature Sub Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tale ISBN: 13-978-0938497486 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 5 Stars A story of how the bakers dozen came into being. Van Amsterdam was a baker who built up his business until people came far and wide to buy his wares. Then one day an old woman comes into his shop to buy a dozen cookies when he only put in twelve she told him he still owed her 1 more. Then the baker learns a lesson in humility. With illustrations that follow along with the story that captured the interest of its young readers so well. I watched as my 7 year old read the story to her 2 two younger siblings. All three found the story to be fun and entertaining. My niece was so pleased with herself that she was able to read the story with no difficulty and I was also. This is a book I will be purchasing for a Christmas present this year. It was well written and the illustrator did an excellent job. An advanced copy of The Baker's Dozen was provided to me for my honest review by the publisher and NetGalley.
ScotsLass More than 1 year ago
The Baker’s Dozen- A Saint Nicholas Tale by Aaron Shepard and illustrated by Wendy Edelson is a beautifully done story of the origin of the Baker’s Dozen. The story is about Van Amsterdam a baker in Dutch Colonial New York, who on Dec 6 bakes St. Nicholas cookies. He is known for being extremely honest and giving his customers exactly what they have paid for. However, one day, an old woman visits him saying that a dozen cookies is 13 cookies. What happens next shows how giving a little more than expected is rewarded. This is a beautiful told folktale with wonderful pictures that would delight any young reader and make a beautiful holiday present to be enjoyed throughout the holiday season. I received this book from NetGalley and Skyhook Press in exchange for a fair and honest review
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I have used the term baker's dozen many times, but never really thought about the origin. This story is a version of how that came to be from an old story out of the Dutch in old New York. VanAmsterdam is a very honest baker who always makes sure he gives each customer exactly what he pays for, no more and no less. He makes the best St. Nicholas cookies and is always extremely busy. One day, an old woman comes and asks for a dozen cookies, when he gives her twelve, she asks for thirteen saying that there are thirteen in a dozen. When he refuses to give in, she leaves disgruntled, and leaves him with bad luck. Unfortunately as he has more and more issues with his baking, he loses all his customers. He does not know what to do. Eventually the spirit of St. Nicholas helps him learn the joys of giving more than is expected. The illustrations are amazing. They are true to the period, very bright and colourful and tell the story almost by themselves. They show the village, the people, the wonderful cookies, St. Nicolas and more. They are wonderful. As other reviewers have mentioned, this book reads like a fairytale. There is the evil witch/villian, the villager who has bad luck caused by the villian, the wish or assistance of a greater being (fairy godmother, St. Nicholas etc) and a happy ending. The message that being generous and giving more than expected is a good one and very easy to see in the story. This will be added to my holiday library for sure. I also can't wait to try the recipe for the cookies that is included at the end of the story. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I have used the term baker's dozen many times, but never really thought about the origin. This story is a version of how that came to be from an old story out of the Dutch in old New York. VanAmsterdam is a very honest baker who always makes sure he gives each customer exactly what he pays for, no more and no less. He makes the best St. Nicholas cookies and is always extremely busy. One day, an old woman comes and asks for a dozen cookies, when he gives her twelve, she asks for thirteen saying that there are thirteen in a dozen. When he refuses to give in, she leaves disgruntled, and leaves him with bad luck. Unfortunately as he has more and more issues with his baking, he loses all his customers. He does not know what to do. Eventually the spirit of St. Nicholas helps him learn the joys of giving more than is expected. The illustrations are amazing. They are true to the period, very bright and colourful and tell the story almost by themselves. They show the village, the people, the wonderful cookies, St. Nicolas and more. They are wonderful. As other reviewers have mentioned, this book reads like a fairytale. There is the evil witch/villian, the villager who has bad luck caused by the villian, the wish or assistance of a greater being (fairy godmother, St. Nicholas etc) and a happy ending. The message that being generous and giving more than expected is a good one and very easy to see in the story. This will be added to my holiday library for sure. I also can't wait to try the recipe for the cookies that is included at the end of the story. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
MonicaFMF More than 1 year ago
This is a short, cute tale about the legend of how the baker's dozen started. The illustrations are detailed and highly artistic. A crisp and inventive narrative fills the pages. Overall, a cute story.