Ansichten und Aussichten- Festschrift für Hans-Heino Ewers
Cooking up a Good Story in Cookery Books for Children: Jean Webb
My contribution is in fond remembrance of working with Hans-Heino Ewers particularly through NorChilNet where he generously gave his time as an expert on children’s literature in the support and development of doctoral students. The focus on food recalls good and sociable meals enjoyed and when Rachel Johnson and I presented Hans-Heino with a chocolate pig in Copenhagen to wish him good luck.
In the UK a recent BBC television programme, A Taste of My Life (BBC 2 2013) was hosted by the chef Nigel Slater, who invited his guests to review their lives in relation to their food experiences beginning with their childhood. The guests’ associations with food were very strong and triggered early memories related to family and friends, cultural history and pleasurable, and sometimes not so pleasurable, experiences. The programme emphasised the importance of food and the links made with personal experience as more than an essential to sustaining life in affluent societies. Similarly story and literature for children feed the imagination. Authors variously employ food in their writing as a means of communicating national identity for example, or pleasure, sociability, community and the state of the child. Food can indicate how well the child is cared for and how it is obtained carries associated sets of values. Story and cooking have been associated in cookery books since about 1906. As Julia Eccleshare has noted:
Research into the antiquarian book world reveals that one of the earliest was Lucy Crump’s Three Little Cooks,...