Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Ciara Biography - Wrote Out Goals to Elizabeth David (1913–1992) Biography » Molly Lamken (Caroline More) Cone (1918-) - Awards, Honors, Sidelights, Autobiography Feature Molly Cone - Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Adaptations

Molly Lamken (Caroline More) Cone (1918-) - Sidelights

review jewish mishmash books

Molly Lamken Cone's career spans over four decades and includes award-winning children's works of both fiction and nonfiction. Her nonfiction topics range widely, from books about Jewish customs to biographies of conductor Leonard Bernstein and the circus-promoting Ringling Brothers to books that explore environmental conservation. Her fiction ranges from serious to humorous, and includes stories about young people learning to deal with racism, as in The Other Side of the Fence and Number Four, to a series of adventurous tales about a dog named Mishmash.

In addition to her books about Jewish customs, including Stories of Jewish Symbols and Purim, Cone coauthored a history of Judaism in her home state, called Family of Strangers: Building a Jewish Community in Washington State. The book traces the migration of the state's Jewish population, which began in the middle of the nineteenth century, to the 1970s. In The Story of Shabbat, Cone explains Jewish traditions and holidays for early grade school students. Originally published in 1966 as The Jewish Sabbath and updated in 2000, the book explains customs of the Jewish Sabbath, incorporates folk tales, and even includes a recipe for challah bread. A writer for Publishers Weekly praised Cone's writing as "compelling and evocative," and said "the text ranges gracefully through history, ritual, and folklore."

Some of Cone's other books focus on environmental issues. Squishy, Misty, Damp and Muddy: The In-between World of Wetlands, which was produced in conjunction with the Sierra Club, introduces young readers to the importance of wetlands and why people need to protect them. Come Back, Salmon: How a Group of Dedicated Kids Adopted Pigeon Creek and Brought It Back to Life tells the story of school children in Everett, Washington, who clean up a creek, convince the community to stop polluting it, re-introduce salmon, and wait for them to thrive and spawn. A writer from Skipping Stones called the book "inspiring."

Cone's most well-known fiction books are her "Mishmash" series, which concerns a mischievous dog. Cone's inspiration for the series came from her own dog, Tiny, who was so eagerly affectionate that she upset the entire Cone household. Illustrated by Leonard Shortall, each book concerns a new adventure for Mishmash and his owners, Pete and Wanda. In Mishmash and the Big Fat Problem, the dog is put on an exercise regimen and subjected to hypnosis in an effort to get him to lose weight. In Mishmash and the Robot, the dog falls in love with a robot, and in Mishmash and Uncle Looey, he teams up with an imaginary friend and wreaks havoc on the neighborhood.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 1996, Carolyn Phelan, a review of Squishy, Misty, Damp, and Muddy: The In-between World of Wetlands, p. 1725; April 1, 2000, Ellen Mandel, a review of The Story of Shabbat, p. 1458.

Christian Science Monitor, February 1, 1968.

Commonweal, May 26, 1967.

Instructor, April, 1994, Judy Freeman, a review of Come Back, Salmon: How a Group of Dedicated Kids Adopted Pigeon Creek and Brought It Back to Life, p. 66.

New York Times Book Review, November 5, 1972.

Publishers Weekly, April 10, 2000, a review of The Story of Shabbat, p. 96.

School Library Journal, August, 2000, Amy Lilien-Harper, a review of The Story of Shabbat, p. 169; August, 2003, Kathy Piehl, a review of Come Back, Salmon: How a Group of Dedicated Kids Adopted Pigeon Creek and Brought It Back to Life, p. 116.

Shofar, winter, 2004, a review of Family of Strangers: Building a Jewish Community in Washington State, p. 198.

Skipping Stones, spring-summer, 1994, a review of Come Back, Salmon: How a Group of Dedicated Kids Adopted Pigeon Creek and Brought It Back to Life, p. 5; March-April, 1997, a review of Squishy, Misty, Damp, and Muddy: The In-between World of Wetlands, p. 8.

Young Readers' Review, March, 1968.

Molly Lamken (Caroline More) Cone (1918-) - Autobiography Feature Molly Cone [next] [back] Molly Lamken (Caroline More) Cone (1918-) - Awards, Honors

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