Jenkins and Blackall must have done meticulous research to create this "fine" book chock full of historical details. Blackall's illustrations are whimsical and fabulous, right down to the ornaments on display in the different rooms, the shoes people wear, and the different ways the babies are carried. I particularly love the scenes where the families pick the blackberries, or in the modern family's case, buy them. In my own family we went "brambling" every year and fought the tangled thorny vines for our precious horde of purple goodness which was then turned into jam and fruit crumbles. In one wonderful spread we see the slave woman and her daughter serving their wealthy masters and then hiding in a closet while they "lick the bowl clean together." That spread alone can be the spark for discussions about slavery in America.
I'm a firm believer that picture books should be enjoyed by all ages - any reader, whether adult or child, will find something to like in this book. Buy it now, or run to your library and borrow it, you won't regret it.
And if you'd like to learn more about blackberry fool and the research that went into this book, here's a great video where Jenkins and Blackall discuss their book while making a "fine dessert."