By STACY MILLS
In the late 60’s while I lived in Nacogdoches, Texas, attending Stephen F. Austin State University (Go, Lumberjacks!), I frequented Shipley Donuts on Saturday mornings. My favorite was the chocolate cream- filled doughnut. I could eat a couple of those at one sitting and still want more.
I’ve always been a sucker for chocolate so it stands to reason I would gravitate to those cream filled delights. Perhaps they were as close a substitute as I could get to my mother’s chocolate cream pie. Nostalgia reigns!
The other day while I was in the Jefferson Carnegie Library, I asked Debbie Brewer to show me where she had shelved the new children’s books the library has recently ordered. I wanted to focus on these new titles for book reviews. I don’t know what caught my eye about this particular book. Maybe it was the bright red book jacket that had written on the spine in bold white font, The Doughnut Fix, which enticed me to pull it from the shelf.
When I opened it up to take a quick perusal, my eyes zoned in on ‘chocolate cream doughnuts’. You guessed it, my mind immediately raced back in time to those chocolate cream-filled doughnuts of long ago during my college years. I just had to check this book out and am I glad I did!
It’s been a while since I read a children’s book from cover to cover. I must say, though, I have had so much fun reading this super book for intermediate grade children.
In fact, I can’t wait to share it with my nine year old granddaughter. The author of The Doughnut Fix, Jessie Janowitz, incorporates humor and common sense throughout this book as it is told through the eyes of Tristan, oldest sibling to two sisters. He makes much about, in the beginning of the book, that he is not “gifted and talented” like his sister, Jeanine. However, as the book unfolds and Tristan finds himself compelled to start a doughnut stand selling “Winnie’s Chocolate Cream Doughnuts”, he exemplifies the very best of creativity, problem solving, motivation, follow through, and pretty awesome chef skills all without having a GT label.
Tristan’s dad’s job at the bank ends as the bank goes out of business forcing the family to move from New York City to a very small town named Petersville. Tristan’s mother is a chef and plans to open a restaurant using the business acumen of Tristan’s dad.
Tristan has grown up in the kitchen with his mother and enjoys cooking as well. Upon their arrival to town, Tristan takes a bike ride into town and sees a sign that reads, “Yes, we do have chocolate cream donuts!” only to find out that the store doesn’t make them anymore because Winnie, the storekeeper, couldn’t keep up with the demand. Tristan just can’t keep his mind from wandering to those donuts that are no longer made.
When he and his sister Jeanine are told they will not be attending their new school immediately, their parents suggest they each take on a project to keep their minds working. This is where the fun starts for Tristan as he and new-found friend Josh begin their planning to get the doughnut recipe from Winnie in order to open their own stand.
This charming book about how Tristan’s project unfolds and how the lives of his family and the town are transformed is definitely a good read. I daresay, once your child finishes it, you might want to read it, too. What a fun conversation you could have around the dinner table or even perhaps on your next trip to buy Saturday morning doughnuts.
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