Not too sweet

I read Joan Betty Stuchner’s Honey Cake over the weekend, which served as an anecdote to the six thousand Daisy Meadows fairy books to which I’ve been subjected in the past year.

Honey Cake is proof that books for seven and eight year olds can discuss big and scary themes. The Nazis, foreign occupation, the dangers of resistance — all in chapter-book form. And all embedded in a fast-paced, tension-filled story that had me biting my lip the entire time.

Why can’t every chapter book be this good?

I didn’t share Honey Cake with my daughter. Not yet. I thought it was a little too scary for a five year old who can’t watch Finding Nemo without having nightmares. But I will!

In the meantime, we’ve been reading Heidi at bedtimes. And I couldn’t help but notice that the children’s books that I remember from childhood, that I’ve been so excited to share — Heidi, The Wizard of Oz, The Borrowers, Charlotte’s Web — all offer themes a little deeper than a lost fairy party bag.

Here’s to Honey Cake!

1 thought on “Not too sweet

  1. Joan

    Thank you for the kind words! Tell your daughter that I too have trouble with Finding Nemo, because I have a kind of phobia about looking into deep water. It’s something to do with the infinite blue or green. Anyway, there we were at the movies, and I was dealing with the ocean situation fairly well, when suddenly Nemo finds himself at the edge of that watery abyss and I had to cover my eyes!
    On the other hand – when my son, and my friend’s daughter, were three years old they loved (I mean loved!) Jurassic Park, whilst I was in a state of TERROR. Children (and adults) are not predictable.


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