Don Freeman was a painter, printmaker, cartoonist, children's book author, and illustrator. Born in 1908 and orphaned in the same year, Freeman was adopted and grew up in San Diego, California. Later he moved to New York Cirt where he studied etching at the Art Students League with Joan Sloan and Harry Wickey. Freeman was known for always carrying a sketchbook with him. His early images captured the vibrancy and humanity of New York City. He wasn't afraid to draw showgirls, Bowery boys, drunks, apple sellers, and window washers. To him, the people were New York. Freeman was also a jazz musician and the brother of hotel entrepreneur Warren Freedman. In 1951, Freeman began illustrating children's books. his wife, Lydia, also an accomplished artist, helped him write and illustrate many of his books.
Freeman first became interested in children's books when William Saroyan asked him to illustrate a few books. however, his greatest influence was the artist Honore Daumier. Freeman studied many of Daumiers works as well as possessed a large collection of books on the artist. Freeman wrote and illustrated over 20 children's book, however his most famous and well-read is the story of Corduroy. Corduroy was a groundbreaking books as it was one of the few books that featured an African-American child in a picture book. Freeman once said, "Simplicity is the essence of chilfren's books stories, not simple mindedness." Among his other books are A Pocket for Corduroy, Beady Bear, Dandelion, Gregory's Shadow, and Hattie the Backstage Bat.
I was recently having a conversation with a friend about this particular weekly entry of forgotten authors. We discussed how even though I have been offering up forgotten authors for a year and a half now, I have not even begun to touch on some of her favorites. So I offer it up to my readers...
As is tradition in my family, we read Cranberry Thanksgiving, a delightful and funny book. As featured in a previous post Harry and Wende Devlin created a whole series of Holiday books, each featuring a recipe that was relatable to the book. This book features Grandmother's Famous Cranberry Bread. So for Thanksgiving and my book review I give you:
Grandmother’s Famous Cranberry Bread
- 2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 c. sugar
- 1.5 t. baking powder
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/4 c. butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 t. grated orange peel (optional)
- 3/4 c. orange juice
- 1.5 c. light raisins (optional)
- 1.5 c. fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add egg, orange peel, and orange juice all at once; stir just until mixture is evenly moist. Fold in raisins and cranberries.
Spoon into a greased 9×5.3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.
If you choose, you may substitute cranberries to have an all cranberry bread.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone”
|“It was on my fifth birthday that Papa put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Remember, my son, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.'”|
“Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.”
“You must learn from the mistakes of others.”