Author: Jay O'Callahan
Illustrator: Will Moses
Publisher: Philomel Books
Concepts: natural resources, producers, consumers
Review: Simon had a real talent for baking, but he also had a string of bad luck. Not so long ago he operated a bakery in Springfield, where his bread rose higher than anyone else's and customers traveled long distances to buy it. But when two other bakers stole all Simon's money, he became discouraged, sold the shop, and started selling eggs in a different little town. Even here misfortune seemed to find him when a bolt of lightning struck his barn, which led to the demise of his chickens.
No wonder Simon pulled his hat so low and mumbled to himself. Fortunately, not everything went poorly. A young woman who Simon had treated kindly back in Springfield reciprocated this kindness with some very special raspberry seeds. Those seeds produced the most delicious raspberries which made the perfect ingredient in the most delectable tarts, and people could not refrain from jumping and shouting for joy. Perhaps Simon would even consider going back to his old occupation.
Acclaimed storyteller Jay O'Callahan has written an entertaining tale which, unsurprisingly given the author, begs to be read out loud. Done in oil, the folk art illustrations add a small-town, traditional feel to the story. The book makes a fine vehicle for teaching substantive lessons in economics about producers and consumers.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children