NONFICTION

Follow the Recipe: Poems About Imagination, Celebration, and Cake

Dial. Mar. 2020. 48p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780735227903.
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PreS-Gr 2–Singer’s latest poetry collection is an earnest but ultimately bland offering, even when seasoned with Priceman’s distinctive and energetic illustrations. Each poem is a recipe, even as the poems vary in structure. The accompanying illustrations often mimic handwritten recipe cards and feature prints of fruits and vegetables, but also depict children of varying skin tones and backgrounds cooking and enjoying the food. Individually the poems are mostly successful, though some feel quite forced. Reading through the book as a whole feels disjointed: a recipe for “enjoying the seasons” is followed by “a recipe for following recipes” and then “a recipe for social studies.” The book’s intended audience is unclear. The artwork and more than a few of the poems feel nostalgic, but this aesthetic and tone could potentially appeal more to adult readers. It’s sweet, but not particularly exciting and is unlikely to garner much attention from young poetry and culinary enthusiasts.
VERDICT Unfortunately, Singer’s collection doesn’t quite hit the mark. A potential addition for large or specialty collections, but generally it’s safe to skip this one.

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