Mr. Emerson’s Cook

By: Judy Schachner


When Annie Burns, newly arrived from Ireland, takes a job as cook to Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson, it is almost more than she can manage. For the brilliant Mr. Emerson is not interested at all in the food she makes.

This poet prefers the warm colors of the sunset to a warm bowl of soup, and he professes to live by imagination alone.

Product Description


Your work should be in praise of what you love. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Annie is afraid she will fail in her job. But she solves her dilemma by taking inspiration from the great man himself. It is only when she lets loose her own poetic imagination that she achieves the success Mr. Emerson writes about so stirringly.

This story, which weaves fact and fiction, is as rich and satisfying as the warm apple pie that Annie cooks. With lyrical language that begs to be read aloud and illustrations full of whimsy and warmth, this book extols not only the extraordinary Mr. Emerson but the power of imagination to find the magic in a starry night and the sunshine in a cook’s creations. Young readers will want to explore again and again Mr. Emerson’s world as portrayed in the heartfelt book.

Judith Byron Schachner is the great-granddaughter of Annie Burns Byron, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s cook. She is the author and illustrator of The Grannyman, bits & pieces, and the Skippyjon Jones series. Ms. Schachner lives with her family in Pennsylvania.

Read Emerson’s seminal work, Self-Reliance.

Additional Information

Weight.3 kg
Dimensions11 × 8.5 × .3 in



Judy Schachner


Purple House Press




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