June 15, 2016
The Hole Story of the Doughnut by Pat Miller, illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch
The Hole Story of the Doughnut
by Pat Miller
illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch
I had heard stories about the Red Cross frying up doughnuts near the battlefields for the soldiers of World War I, but I had never heard how the doughnut was invented. Lucky for me that Pat is one of my writing students. I have no clue why I’m so lucky to have such an accomplished student but I jumped at the chance to read her latest book.
The doughnut was invented by ship’s captain Hanson Gregory. Not that he was a captain yet. At the time he was just a lowly cooks assistant. Each morning he and the cook would fry up a batch of “sinkers” doughy cakes that never cooked through in the center. Hanson got the idea to use a canister lid to cut the center out of each cake before cooking it. With this gap, the doughnut cooked evenly and emerged from the pan as a wonderful treat.
If you’re familiar with my reviews, you know that I’m not going to tell you the whole story. For that, you have to read the book. But I will tell you that Pat includes several stories about how the doughnut was invented as well as more than a little history about Captain Gregory’s life.
Kirsch’s watercolor illustrations are cartoony and fun. Several times they reminded me of School House Rock although Kirsch’s characters never look exactly like those in the cartoon. Somehow even Kirsch’s depictions of sailors in storm-tossed seas are more silly than scary so this book should be too much for younger readers.
Share this at story time in the classroom and be prepared for a discussion of why there are so many stories about the origin of the doughnut, favorite doughnuts, possible improvements and more.