Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cranberry Thanksgiving

Cranberry Thanksgiving
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.

Also by:
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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Kenda Turner said...

Ooh, I'd love to get a copy of this book--but more than that, I'll love to make the cranberry bread for Thanksgiving this year. It sounds delicious. Making a copy of the recipe now...Thanks for sharing :-)

Burgin Streetman said...

this homeschool mom made some of it and she shows a picture so you can see what it looks like.

wmmahaney said...

I love their books. We read Cranberry Halloween this year and loved it. I'm glad you posted this since it reminds me I need to put this book on hold at the library. Hopefully I can get it before Thanksgiving. :-)

Angela said...

Oh-- I remember this book. Thanks for reminding me of this great classic. I'd love to come across one of these someday.

stephanie said...

Got my copy from the library today - thanks for the recommendation.

Nan said...

Have it & adore it.

Was drawn to how the illustrations magnify the contrast between the girl and her grandmother.

Recently passed up a copy of Old Black Witch for a buck. Bad judgment day I guess.

Unknown said...

I've never seen this one! I love the illustrations and the cranberry bread sounds yummy :D

Tanya said...

HA! What a treat to see this one again! I still have my copy from when I was a kid AND a copy of How Fletcher was Hatched!

Homeschooling in the Fox Valley said...

This is the best bread! It's a really fun read. I shared this book on my blog a couple of weeks ago :)

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