* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room, and give you a unique “recipe for fun” this week over on our Book Cook page.
Today’s great book: Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot written by Margot Theis Raven and illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenbuyzen (2002, Sleeping Bear Press)
The Author’s Website: http://www.margotraven.com/Pages/default.aspx
The Illustrator’s Website: http://hazelridgefarm.com/books.html
Awards: 2003 Children’s Choice Award; IRA 2002 Midwest Independent Publisher Merit Award; and the 2004-05 Children’s Crown Honor Award – 2004-05 Show me Award
Time to Read: we read it just before bed and it took about 10-15 minutes with a few extra minutes to talk about the history and read the epilogue.
Summary: from the inside cover…A true story of the 1948 humanitarian rescue mission, the Berlin Airlift, and the candy that dropped from the sky…[The story of] a seven-year old girl named Mercedes who lived in West Berlin during the airlift and [Lt. Gail S. Halvorsen] who came to be known as the Chocolate Pilot.
Best Quote from the Book: “The memory of this day would stay with her for the rest of her life.”
Our View: This book is among our newest finds and is already a treasure in our book room. This is a truly powerful tale of history and children that is beautifully illustrated. It is not only a work of art, but of literary worth and will take your breath away as you read the conclusion of the story and hear what has since happened to each of the people in the story. The girls and I read this book just before bedtime and it propelled us into a discussion of war and worry and children and life in difficult times. It is also a glorious story of chocolate and the magic that it can work even in difficult times. The heroes are plentiful in this wonderful book.
Remember to visit our Book Cook page for the recipe – Wild Blue Yonder Chocolate Cake! – created by the kids for this particular book.