Hoban’s Book Inspires, Cultivates Discovery

April 29, 2022

Zoey Ueland

As a young child, I adored books, the glossy covers, the thick pages, and the way my parents animated them as they read me a bedtime story. Like the creature of habit I am, I would make my parents re-read the same books to me, night after night. A favorite of mine was “Bread and Jam for Frances” by Russell Hoban. First published in 1964 the story chronicles Frances, a young badger who only likes what the title suggests, bread and jam. Despite her badger family as well as her best friend Albert enjoying a variety of foods for lunch and dinner including string beans, pickles, and soft-boiled eggs, Frances refused to consume anything besides bread and jam. While Frances’ family’s love of veal cutlets and spaghetti and meatballs may not have rubbed off on me as I am a tried and true vegetarian, the lesson of being open to trying new things influenced me at a young age. If nothing else this book reminds me of home and undoubtedly toasted bread with jam.

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