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Summary: Gorp tells us about his bakery-inspired dream. His dream is quite pleasant until Mr. and Mrs. 'Dough bring their sour attitude to Pumpernickel Park. When fire strikes, can the Doughs' sour crust be changed? This is an allegory about diversity.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10
Interest Level: 4 to 9
Age of Child: started reading with 4-year-old child.
Young Reader Reaction: "This is a good book. If the Doughs didn't judge everybody, it would be a great book." Clearly, our preschooler caught the message the first time (although s/he seemed to miss the happy ending!).
Adult Reader Reaction: The author's use of baked goods as the characters of Pumpernickel park is most creative. Mix in the rhyme, and it's a lot of fun to read.
Pros: The allegory is easy for kids to understand (who doesn't like a smiling pastry)? The story is inclusive of the reader, with the promise at the end a good way to bring the "dream" to life.
Borrow or Buy: Buy! The story is fun, making it likely to be read LOTS of time … and you can never reinforce the message of tolerance and not judging others too much.