Vintage Book Wednesday: The Poppyseed Cakes

vintage children's book

UPDATE 11/13/14: I received a comment from a reader, which you can read below, addressing a major error in my post. As someone whose family is often referred to as “Russian” incorrectly, I take this concern very seriously. I am going to redo this post to reflect the correction of the reader, but I want to go ahead and make sure anyone who finds it in the meantime knows that I am aware of the problem. Thanks to the person who brought it to my attention.

Today’s post is a bit late because I can’t currently put my hands on the book about which I am writing. Pretty slick for a book blogger, right? That means I have to apologize in advance for only being able to tell you about the illustrations without showing you a few samples.

Continuing with our Russian theme, I thought I’d remind you about The Poppy Seed Cakes by Margery Clark. It’s a great little series of stories involving a little boy, and his aunt who has come to visit from ‘the Old Country.’ Poppyseed cakes figure prominently, as do many other old traditions that little Andrewshek comes to know and love. You’ll find some pretty classic problem and solution plot, here. A few surprises crop up, but as an adult reader, you’ll definitely see them coming.

There’s no shortage of charm in the illustrations, either. Maud and Miska Petersham created them, and they basically make you think you’ve climbed into a time warp. Originally published in 1924, The Poppy Seed Cakes is already showing a sentimentality for Russia-as-she-used-to-be, before the Great War and the Revolution. Want to drop some postmodern literary analysis on a children’s book? This would be a GREAT choice. 😉

In the meantime, snuggle up with this one and enjoy it with your early readers. Each story could stand alone, but my guess is that the little readers in your house will be excited to hear all of the adventures.

{The book links in this post are affiliate links, and Read It, Make It! receives a small commission if you make a purchase using them. Thank you!}


  1. This is to set the record straight. This book was written about members of my family. I have the original book and newspaper articles showing the author, Margery Clark, in my grandparent’s home. The family is not Russian but in fact immigrants from Czechoslovakia. Your review is inaccurate and I find it disrespectful to my ancestors. I suggest you get your facts correct.

    • Hi Patricia,

      Thank you for letting me know about your very valid concerns. My own great-grandparents immigrated from Croatia to the United States, so I understand the frustration that comes from these careless errors. You will see that I have put a note on the post stating my error, and I will correct it in the near future when I have taken the time to do things more carefully. My apologies to you and the memory of your family. I can assure you that this stemmed from carelessness (which is certainly not okay), rather than from malice.


Speak Your Mind