Gingerbread for Liberty: How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution by Mara Rockliff with illustrations by Vincent X. Kirsch is the delightful story of Christopher Ludwick. Appreciative of the freedom and comfort life in America brought him, the aging and overweight baker was determined to do his part when the Revolutionary War began. His contributions to feeding the American soldiers (at his own expense) and converting some Hessian mercenaries to their side were indeed significant. The illustrations, all done in the style of elaborate German gingerbread, perfectly complement the text. And Ludwick’s large belly is a delight! A gingerbread recipe is aptly included on the endpapers.
The story is entertaining and the baker endearing, but I fear many children will not realize they have been reading about an actual person and actual events. Ludwick is not even named until the author’s note! It is a shame that the readers who skip the Author’s Note will not realize the depth of his contributions and may even believe the brave and cheerful baker to be a fictitious character.
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