Wintercake

By: Lynne Rae Perkins

Thomas is all set to make his famous wintercake, but his basket of dried fruit has disappeared! His good friend Lucy promises that they can still have a joyful holiday celebration without the cake. But when Lucy ducks into a neighborhood tea room to wait out a storm, she spots a stranger holding a basket of dried fruit. Thomas’s fruit! Certain that the stranger has stolen it, she follows him as he heads out into wintery forest. But to her surprise, he leads her right to Thomas’s door, where he returns the basket. Ashamed of how she jumped to conclusions, Lucy helps Thomas bake his wintercake and together they track down the mysterious visitor and share a slice together.

Full-color illustrations.

ISBN: 9780062894878

JLG Release: Dec 2019


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Lost and found possessions , Friendship , Animals , Birds , Winter , Holidays

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, The Horn Book Magazine, Booklist, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

A lost basket of dried-up fruit kicks off an engaging picture book adventure. When a small mammal named Thomas misplaces the ingredients he had gathered to bake a cake for Winter’s Eve, his bird friend Lucy spots a “tall, sleek animal” with the basket in his hands. Though she assumes he is a “good-for-nothing fruit thief,” the creature sh A lost basket of dried-up fruit kicks off an engaging picture book adventure. When a small mammal named Thomas misplaces the ingredients he had gathered to bake a cake for Winter’s Eve, his bird friend Lucy spots a “tall, sleek animal” with the basket in his hands. Though she assumes he is a “good-for-nothing fruit thief,” the creature she thought was a “scoundrel” kindly returns the fruit to Thomas, then departs. The two friends realize that the stranger must be “a noble chap” and decide to bring a wintercake to him. Their trek takes them through some challenging winter obstacles, but they finally find the animal’s home and share the holiday and the wintercake with their new friend. The extended 48-page length allows time for the story to develop gently but purposefully. Narration, dialogue, and illustrations work perfectly together to establish characters, themes, and plot. Carefully varied layouts range from panels and circular frames to spreads, conveying both the hardships of winter as well as the cozy hominess of food, companionship, and home. Rich language shifts smoothly between evocative description and engaging dialogue, moving the story forward at just the right pace. The sense of friendship and sharing provides a warm, satisfying conclusion and also reinforces the dangers of assuming the worst about someone you don’t know. A first-rate example of a longer picture book for elementary-age readers and listeners.

Horn Book

Forest creature Thomas has misplaced his dried fruits near his cozy tree home and is despondent; without them, he won’t be able to make a wintercake for the Winter’s Eve holiday. When his friend Lucy, a yellow bird, overhears a stranger say that he found them, she doesn’t hear him add (in the noisy café where she dines) that he doesn’t pla Forest creature Thomas has misplaced his dried fruits near his cozy tree home and is despondent; without them, he won’t be able to make a wintercake for the Winter’s Eve holiday. When his friend Lucy, a yellow bird, overhears a stranger say that he found them, she doesn’t hear him add (in the noisy café where she dines) that he doesn’t plan to keep the fruits. She follows the “vile beast,” only to witness him returning them to Thomas. Agreeing that he’s a “noble chap,” Thomas and Lucy bake the now-departed creature a wintercake and follow his tracks in the snow to find him. Their journey in the dark is perilous, but they locate him, alone and sad. The three dine in a hollow with only a small fire to keep them warm, and a friendship is forged. A lengthy text marks this warm-hearted winter story, spun with such delicious words as bereft, scrumptious, and resilient. The descriptive language (the icing on their cake is described as “like snow on a lumpy hillside”) and dry humor also shine. The crowded café scene is especially funny, as everyone, via speech-balloon dialogue, discusses only the weather (“I have never seen so much weather,” says a mouse). Perkins’s earth-toned illustrations are rich in detail, patterns, and textures. “What more do we need?” asks Thomas as he sits with an old friend, a new one, and lots of warmth and light on a cold winter night.

Book Details

ISBN

9780062894878

First Release

December 2019

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

E

Trim Size

9" x 11"

Page Count

48

Accelerated Reader

Level 0; Points: 0;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level HL590L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Greenwillow Bks.

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Lost and found possessions, Friendship, Animals, Birds, Winter, Holidays,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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