about the book
Have you ever considered how much food, technology, and families have changed over the centuries?
Take the dessert blackberry fool for instance. Making this treat in 1710 is way different than it is today. In 1710, families had to pick wild blackberries and beat cream from their cow’s milk with a bundle of twigs!
How did a slave girl and her mother make blackberry fool in 1810? A mother and daughter in 1910? And a boy and his father in present-day?
How have our daily lives changed over the course of four centuries?
She discovered her love for writing by watching rehearsals of her father’s plays. The story would change with each revision and cut. She even wrote two novels in third grade, but then got distracted by theater.
In high school, she went to summer drama school at Northwestern and the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis. She later went to Vassar College and has a PhD in English literature from Columbia University.
Her book That New Animal received the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor. Other picture books include: Lemonade in Winter, Toys Meet Snow, The Fun Book of Scary Stuff, and Water in the Park.
Emily is currently a vegetarian but has been vegan, and her favorite food is guacamole. She is a good cook, enjoys yoga, making home movies, keeping up with photo albums, and reading.
She teaches creative writing at Hamline University’s MFA program and currently lives in the New York City area. Emily also writes for young adults under the pen name E. Lockhart.
Also by Emily Jenkins:
Toys Meet Snow. Schwartz & Wade. 2015.
Lemonade in Winter : A Book about Two Kids Counting Money. Schwartz & Wade. 2012.
Small, Medium, Large : A Book about Relative Sizes. Star Bright Books. 2011.
Skunkdog. Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. 2008.
That New Animal. Frances Foster Books. 2005.
That discipline and passion led her to complete a bachelor’s degree in design. In the years that followed, Sophie painted robotic characters for theme parks and wrote a household hints column while her art was exhibited in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Her first children’s book was Ruby’s Wish. The publisher couldn’t decide between three illustrators, so they had a “bake-off.” All three were given the same passage from the manuscript to illustrate. Sophie was chosen based on her illustration!
Since then, Sophie has illustrated over twenty children’s books. For more information on her process, take a look at her blog. She wrote seven posts on how she went about creating the artwork for A Fine Dessert by Emily Jenkins. Find the first post here.
Once she has done all the tricky drawing, Sophie listens to audiobooks while painting. When she was working on Red Butterfly, she listened to Moby Dick. Ever since then, Sophie has hidden a whale in each of her books. Sopie also won the 2016 Caldecott Medal for her illustrations in Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear.
Sophie has lived in Brooklyn, New York, since 2000.
Illustrator biography: Measles & Rubella Initiative
Illustrator interview: Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Illustrator interview: Publisher’s Weekly
Illustrator interview: Juana Martinez Neal
Also by Sophie Blackall:
Finding Winnie : The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2015.
And Two Boys Booed by Judith Viorst. Farrar Straus Giroux (BYR). 2014.
The Ivy and Bean series by Annie Barrows. Chronicle Books 2007-2013.
The Mighty Lalouche by Matthew Olshan. Schwartz & Wade. 2013.
Spinster Goose : Twisted Rhymes for Naughty Children by Lisa Wheeler. Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 2011.
Manners Mash-Up : A Goofy Guide to Good Behavior by Tedd Arnold. Dial. 2011.
The Crows of Pearblossom by Aldous Huxley. Abrams Books for Young Readers. 2011.
Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan. Viking Juvenile. 2010.
All the Way to America : The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel by Dan Yaccarino
This story follows a little shovel and four generations of Italian Americans from the farmer in Sorrento, Italy, to the illustrator great-great grandson who is raising his own family in New York City.
Finding Winnie : The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick
During World War I, Harry was a young Canadian soldier traveling from Canada to England when he bought a baby black bear at train depot. He named the bear Winnie. She soon became the mascot of Harry’s unit, but could only travel so far with him. How did Winnie come to meet Christopher Robin and become the world’s most famous bear?
This Is the Rope : A Story from the Great Migration by Jacqueline Woodson
When the Great Migration began, our narrator’s grandma, a little girl herself at the time, found a rope beneath a tree. That rope became part of the family, useful for tying up luggage, as a clothesline, and as a jump rope. For three generations the rope is passed down, until it becomes the narrator’s first jump rope.