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Dear Friends,

We were lucky in Iowa City, Iowa to find Jan Brett telling about her new book Gingerbread Friends at the public library on November 13th, 2008. She drew the Gingerbread Baby on the easal, left, for an enthusiastic audience of little children and adults seeking her autograph. The rooster on the cover lives at Jan’s home near Boston and is happy to pose for her art works. Jan carefully researches folk art and traditions while traveling in Europe with her husband, a member of the Boston Symphony. She told the audience that even as a child her ambition was to be an artist illustrating children’s stories. Jan writes many of the stories in her books.

Gingerbread Friends is about a confident and cocky Gingerbread Baby that sets out to find a friend just his size, but instead has an unforgettable adventure. He happens upon a bakery where all is not as it seems. The sugar cookie girl and other sweet treats stare straight ahead, not saying a word, as he dances and prances in front of them. He is chased by a hungry mama mouse and a long line of creatures – a cat, a dog, a fox – as he races home. Thanks to the boy Mattie, a fantastic surprise awaits the discouraged Gingerbread Baby. This book also has a giant foldout page at the end that all will enjoy.

Note that Penfield has several Jan Brett titles of the season, including, Gingerbread Friends, Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve?, Wild Christmas Reindeer, The Night Before Christmas, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Christmas Trolls and Jan Brett’s Christmas Treasury. Penfield also stocks the popular Jan Brett’s “board” books those wonderful beginning story books for readers under age 5 reaching for their first books. Gingerbread Baby is one of the best! We also have The Hat and The Mitten in board books. Let Penfield Books be your Jan Brett shopping center.

Our Waffles, Flapjacks, Pancakes, Blintzes Crepes and Frybread stocking stuffer has a delicious Gingerbread Pancakes recipe:
Gingerbread Pancakes p. 30
2-1/2 cups cake flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups molasses
� cup coffee, cooled
� cup water
1 egg, beaten
� cup melted butter

Sift dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing well. Drop desired amount of batter onto a lightly greased, low-heat skillet. Cook until bubbles appear, then flip and cook the other side. Top with whipped cream or powdered sugar.
Waffle book ISBN: 978-1-932-04303-7
See Stocking Stuffer category and Free Recipe category. 

Another new release for Penfield this year is Barns Around Iowa: A Sampling of Iowa’s Round Barns. Photographed by Luella Hazeltine and edited by Deb Schense, this book was released this summer. Luella, camera in hand, photographed the round and multi-sided barns from all over Iowa during the last 15 years. She took a copy of the State Historical Society of Iowa’s book,Without Right Angles by Lowell Soike and used it as a guide to see the listings of round barns in Iowa. This 6×9″ book of 128 pages preserves approximately 100 round and multi-sided barns in color county by county. Included is a photo of George Washington’s replicated barn, a barn made from a barn kit, floor plans, and a Sears barn kit ad. 

Toni Brendel and Penfield are pleased to announce the release of Slovak American Touches. This 192 page book has history, recipes, and folk arts. Slovak folk dancers in kroj authentic to the Slovak Republic are shown in full color in the 24 page color section of the 6×9″ book. Many wonderful authentic recipes are included. See also our Free Recipe section for a Best Gingersnaps recipe in the Slovak American Touches book. See photo below (Fall 2008).

Stockholm 2: Children of Their City, second in Per Anders Fogelstrams series, tells the continuing tale of Henning Nilsson and his family, a family whose origins and growth in the underclass of nineteenth-century Stockholm mirror the growth of Stockholm itself into a modern European metropolis. Per Anders Fogelstrams Stockholm Series is a quintet of novels about the intertwined stories of a city and of a family; this second volume, Children of Their City, focuses on the experiences and diverging destinies of the children of Henning Nilsson, the principal character of its predecessor, City of My Dreams. The research behind and within Fogelstrams series is prodigiously detailed: he gives us meticulous descriptions of landscapes, weather, rooms, streets, factories, cafes, bars, and emerging landmarks; he knows and understands the historical events, issues, politics of the period 1880-1900 in this second volume, which of them were remote from the working classes, and which were immediate. He tells his stories without contrivance; when there are life-changing events, they erupt into a context of daily life that he conveys no less compellingly. He can show us the clothes his characters are wearing, tell us how these people smell, describe the effect of alcohol and toil on their bodies. Most of all he understands their values, their ideals, their emotions, their human integrity; he admires their enduring strengths, and views their weaknesses with compassion.

A new venture for Penfield this year includes artistic t-shirts such as Emma Big Bear, Finland State Forest (Minnesota), and Telemark Rosemaling (Norma Wangsness).

Among the stocking stuffer series cookbooks, Penfield has added French Recipes, License to Cook Missouri Style, and Norwegian Centennial Recipes 1825-1925 this year.

For all Penfield titles now available, please take a look at our web store and consult our website at Our complete catalog is available online for download, along with our wholesale discount term sheet, and an order form for your convenience. The forms can be found at the top of every category online. We appreciate your continued purchases throughout the year, and offer you special best wishes for happy holidays 2008!

Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret, publisher