Ellen Schwartz is the author of over fifteen books. In addition to writing books, she has published dozens of magazine articles and adult short stories, and her stories for children have been published in children's magazines and teaching anthologies. Ellen, whose background is in education, currently works as a corporate and curriculum writer and editor, and teaches creative writing classes at Simon Fraser University and Douglas College. Ellen has two daughters and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.ellenschwartz.net. Stefan Czernecki has illustrated many picture books and has won the American Folklore Society's Aesop Award. He lives in Vancouver, BC.
Mr. Belinsky's bagels are the toast of the town. His poppy seed bagels help soothe Mrs. Alperstein's many ailments, while Frankie the would-be tough guy is hooked on the onion bagels. So when Mr. Belinsky's son, Victor, encourages him to expand and bake other goods, he replies: "Should a doctor fix leaky pipes? No!.... Should Belinsky make fancy cakes? NO! I make bagels. Bagels is what I make. And that's that." But after a fancy bakery opens across the street, he starts to turn out dainty pastries. The new line is a hit, but every night, "his hands felt... as though they were missing something. But he couldn't remember what." Predictably, Belinsky is soon back to bagels and, of course, back to his spiel ("I make bagels. Bagels is what I make"). Czernecki's (The Cricket's Cage) flat compositions and matte gouaches reinforce the old-fashioned tone. However, the illustrations are also fairly static, and the characters' faces look strangely vacant, even when they gaze upon the longed-for bagels. All ages. (July)
"The message is solid and the artwork winning."