Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Here's an oldie, but goodie that may be familiar to some parents out there. Who Needs Donuts? was written and illustrated by Mark Alan Stamaty, and originally published in 1973. It has a cult-like following among children's book aficionados, and you'll immediately see why.
Sam is a little boy who lives in the suburbs with his mom and dad. He has a nice, rather typical life but wants more. Actually, what he wants are donuts, lots and lots of donuts. So off he goes to the city on his tricycle in his quest for donuts. There he meets Mr. Bikferd, a collector of donuts who needs a helper. On their way to find even more donuts, they pass a Sad Old Woman who shouts out to them "Who needs donuts when you've got love?" What follows is a madcap story of Sam, Mr. Bikferd and donuts in the big city. By the end of the book, Sam too realizes "who needs donuts when you've got love?"
What makes this book so amazing are the pen and ink illustrations. You and your child will spend hours looking at the incredible (and humorous) details on each page. In fact, with each reading you see something new. I can't begin to explain how captivating each page is. This is one book you'll want to own. It's a keeper!
BookNosher Tidbit: Here's an interesting interview with Mark Stamatsky where you'll learn how the book was initially received, and the cult following it ultimately gained. He also talks about the drawing process and his actual encounter in a coffee shop with an old woman who provided the initial inspiration for the book when she shouted "who needs donuts when you've got love?"
BookNosher Activity: After pouring over Who Needs Donuts, you may find yourself with a hankering for them. I discovered a wonderful site for parents-The Artful Parent: The Intersection of Art and Parenting- that has a donut recipe designed for kids (and it's relatively healthy). Bon Apetit!