Wende and Harry Devlin ~ Parents' Magazine Press, 1971
I never had any of the Cranberry books when I was little, though longtime readers will remember that How Fletcher Was Hatched and Old Black Witch! were two of my childhood favorites. Cranberry Thanksgiving was the first (and by far the best) in a series of Cranberry Port books the Devlins did in the 70s that also included Cranberry Christmas and Cranberry Mystery. A decade later they were followed up by Cranberry Autumn, Cranberry Birthday, Cranberry Easter, Cranberry Halloween, Cranberry Summer and Cranberry Valentine.
The plot here is silly, though slightly ominous, involving a cranberry bog and a sacred family recipe, and the illustrations feature some pretty interesting point-of-view angles... a slight departure from some of husband Harry's typical drawings. That one in particular of the girl peaking out from behind kitchen door absolutely kills me.
Maggie darted about like a black-stockinged bird, in search of wood for the fireplace. She and her grandmother lived at the edge of a lonely cranberry bog in New England, and the winds were cold at the edge of the sea. Today, Mr. Whiskers was helping Maggie with her chores and they soon had armfuls of firewood.
"Happy Thanksgiving Day, Mr. Whiskers." Maggie smiled at her friend.
That wasn't his real name of course. It was Uriah Peabody, but Maggie had called him Mr. Whiskers ever since she could remember. Maggie was very fond of Mr. Whispers. Her grandmother was not. "Too many whiskers and not enough soap," she often said to Maggie.
Ah, yes. When it seems as if someone is out to steal grandmother's coveted Cranberry Bread recipe, all signs point to Mr. Whisker's... though if children's literature has taught us one thing... it's never judge a book by it's cover. Copies can get a wee bit pricey, so call you local library now to see if they still have one to enjoy before the holiday. Or at the very least, take a look at the recipe scanned here from the back cover and have at it. Yum and yum.
How Fletcher Was Hatched
Old Witch Rescues Halloween
Old Witch and the Polka Dot Ribbon
Old Black Witch!
The Wonderful Tree House
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