The Hole Story of the Doughnut by Pat Miller, illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 

Summary:  Hanson Gregory left his family’s farm for a life at sea in 1844 at the age of 13.  He quickly rose from cook’s assistant to become captain of a clipper ship.  By all accounts, he became an excellent commander, even receiving a medal for heroism from the queen of Spain after rescuing seven Spanish sailors.  But what Hanson Gregory is remembered for today is inventing the doughnut.  As cook’s assistant, he was charged with making breakfast cakes of fried dough.  Because the centers of these cakes remained raw and heavy, they were called sinkers.  One day Gregory had the brilliant idea to cut out the centers with the top of the pepper shaker.  The rest is baking history.  Over the years, legends arose about the genesis of the doughnut, and others even claimed to have invented it, but this book lays these rumors to rest once and for all.  An author’s note gives a bit more information about Gregory.  A timeline and bibliography are also included.  32 pages; grades K-3.

Pros:  An excellent introduction to the invention of ordinary items, told with plenty of humor in both the text and the illustrations.

Cons:  Does not really address the question, Dunkin’ or Krispy Kreme?


One thought on “The Hole Story of the Doughnut by Pat Miller, illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch

  1. Not a lover of doughnuts–they still remain sinkers in my stomach despite their missing middles, but I LOVED this story–everything from the tall tale aspects, to its circular storytelling structure to the donut motif throughout and the whimsical illustrations.


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