CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 7 . . . . November 26, 2004
This award-winning book with its playful illustrations and lively text tackles the issue of big business in today’s global economy. Each One Special tells the story of a young boy, Ben, and Harry, the cake decorator at the neighbourhood bakery, who discover how to survive in a world that hungers for newer, bigger, and faster. Their multigenerational friendship develops when Ben watches with awe and amazement as Harry creates spectacular cakes for appreciative customers. But when the bakery is sold, so is Harry’s livelihood. The new owners want sameness not individuality; cookie-cutter cakes instead of lavish creations. Their slogan is “The Fast, New, Got it all the Same, Bakery.” With Harry’s talent no longer valued or appreciated, he drifts aimlessly until Ben rescues him and channels his creativity in a new direction. Just as Harry’s cakes were special and unique, each one of his new creations is special, too.
Wishinsky and Zimmermann have teamed up to produce a heartwarming story of caring and compassion that together fight against adversity. The colourful watercolour illustrations set the tone of this picture book. Each page is filled with images depicting a wide range of emotions as Harry goes from happy to sad to happy again. Many children will enjoy Ben and Harry’s story and may understand that they can influence an adult’s life, just as much as caring adults influence their life.
Stacie Edgar is a student in the Integrated B.A./B.Ed. Education program at the University of Winnipeg in Winnipeg, MB.
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