A Bake Shop, a Ghost, and a Surprise! This Perfect Picture Book Friday.

I learned how to bake by watching and assisting my mom and my aunt. At first, I was only allowed to sit on a tall stool near the counter, watch closely, and call out the next step or ingredient from the recipe (and sneak a small finger-full of dough). In time, I was trusted to measure out the flour or the butter and learn the art of cracking an egg one-handed. Eventually the day I waited for came.

Mom said I could choose whatever cake or batch of cookies I wanted to bake–all by myself. I’m telling you, that moment was big for me. My first cake was a two-layered, strawberry shortcake filled with fluffy, whipped cream and thin-sliced strawberries. Yes, my cake leaned precariously to one side. Yes, some of the strawberries slid downhill. Yes, my parents made a beautiful fuss, telling me how delicious it was and asked for seconds.

The point of my mini-story is that the success, or lack thereof, of that first cake, didn’t deter me from baking more cakes until I was happy with the outcome. I’m rather surprised I don’t tip the scale, considering how much I love to bake and cook.

Today’s picture book is about a vacant bakeshop, once run by the best baker in the state who created many scrumptious delicacies. The story tells the tale of different bakers who come and flee from the shop, claiming the place is haunted by the ghost of the original owner until…

One day, a spirited chef named Annie Washington arrives who is not frightened off by a few flying bags of flour or countless eggs dropped over her clean floor by a cranky ghost. If Annie wants to stay and never again be bothered by the ghost, she must fulfill a curious request. You’re, no doubt, wondering what the ghost ask Annie to do. So, to that question,

I have a special surprise for you at the end of this post. 

Title –  The Bakeshop Ghost

Author – Jacqueline Ogburn

Illustrator – Marjorie A. Priceman

Published by –  Houghton Mifflin Books – 2005

Suitable for ages – 4-8

Topics – Determination, friendship, and cake – Oh, yes! LOTS OF CAKE!

Opening – Miss Cora Lee Merriweather ran the best bakeshop in these parts–maybe even in the whole state! The chocolate in her Mississippi mud pie was darker than the devil’s own heart. Her sponge cake was so light the angels kept wishing it would float up to heaven. No Birthday was complete without a Merriweather layer cake without her special buttercream frosting.

Amazon Review HERECora Lee Merriweather had a lemon pucker mouth and hair scraped back into a hard little bun. Cora Lee also baked the best pies and cakes for miles. But now Cora Lee haunts the shop she used to own. When new bakers arrive to take over her empty bake shop, she scares them away. Then Annie Washington comes to town, and it seems Cora Lee has met her match.

Why I like this book— This is a story that, despite its high word count, will hold the attention of most children and delight them. In addition to the cast of colorful characters, strong plot, element of mystery, (and did I mention there’s a cake recipe on the last page?) the illustrations are off-the-charts colorful, emotional, humorous, and filled with scrumptious details.

Learn more about Jacqueline Ogburn’s books HERE.

Learn more about Marjorie A. Priceman’s books HERE.

And now for the special surprise I promised you.

I came across this lavish, short film, just over 17 minutes. that tells the story of The Bake Shop Ghost.

If you scroll down, you’ll find the comments box. Oh, how I love getting mail! I hope you’ll stop in to deliver a favorite baking memory or just say hello.

On Monday, if you visit, I’m sharing a bakery-inspired poem sure to please the most discerning sweet tooth!

I hope to see you then!

19 thoughts on “A Bake Shop, a Ghost, and a Surprise! This Perfect Picture Book Friday.

    • I’m glad you liked the film, Cathy. When I heard Cora Lee Merriweather say that line, it warmed my heart, too. It’s truly a sweet film made about a thoroughly scrumptious story. I hope you’re able to get a copy of the book. This is one of my go-to picture books when I need my spirits lifted.

      Liked by 1 person

    • With a love for baking and eating your culinary delights, you’re sure to fall in love with this book. And if you’re in the mood for cake, there’s a great recipe for the birthday cake at the end of the story. I hope you enjoyed watching the film I included. It’s quite heartwarming.


  1. Going to add this one to my list! I so often find that the voice of a story helps drive engagement. Here, the voice is soooo strong! Love it! Now, about baking….my mother used to make hundreds of Christmas cookies to give away at her office and to share with extended family members. Miss those cookies….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh, Christmas and all of those cookies! My mom used to sit at the kitchen table before a pile of her German cookbooks and make a list of all of the cookies she wanted to bake for the holiday season. It sounds like you enjoyed many kinds of delicious cookies, too! 🙂 Cheers to our marvelous moms!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your introduction to baking echos mine. I think my first attempt on my own was a chocolate cake. I had a wonderful collection of cookbooks by the time I was ten. I recall winning a prize for my chocolate layer cake when I was 16. The prize was a cookbook that I still use today. This book sounds delightful. I think I will get it for my great-granddaughter who has continued the tradition of bakers in the family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You must have been that happiest 16-year-old that day. I hope you saved the recipe for that prize-winning chocolate layer cake. It’s fabulous that you kept the cookbook. Maybe you could write up a little paragraph or so about the cake you made that won you that book and tape it inside the cover to share with any future bakers in your family. Everyone loves a good story. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The Monday Poems Recieve a Sweet, Sugar Dusting. | Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

  4. Pingback: The Monday Poems Receive a Sugar Dusting. | Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

  5. Wonderful film! Thanks so much for sharing. My earliest baking experiences came on precious Saturday mornings with my mom. But my first solo baking attempts came via the Winnie the Pooh Cookbook!

    Thank you always for your poems and your insightful picture book presentations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Teri, both for sharing your baking memory with your mom and your lovely words about my poetry and picture book reviews. I hope you kept your Winnie the Pooh cookbook. I’ll bet it was one of your most treasured books. I still have my Betty Crocker cookbook from my childhood. The pages are loose from the binding and somewhat stained but, all in all, show how much the book is loved and still used today. 🙂


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