Our Little Kitchen

Abrams. Sept. 2020. 48p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781419746550.
Gr 1-3–One can almost smell it cooking, as the ingredients and steps for making vegetable soup precede a tantalizing swirl of steam that leads to the title page and introduction to a small community kitchen. Here friends of all ages and ethnicities come together in “our little kitchen, a tiny, small place” as all prep the kitchen to receive “what we’ve got, what we’ve grown.” Soup, chili, apple crumble, salad, maybe warm bread? Varying sizes of detailed images include the effects of the cooking, a riot of fonts for the sizzle, chop, glug, slice, peel, trim, toss, splash, squish, and the microwave “beep,” while many wait for the “15 minutes!” call to eat. Helpers serve as neighbors wait and treasure the joy of sharing in a time of need. Ending with a note describing the meeting of those facing struggle with an “arm-in-arm” effort, the book’s crisp lines of graphic art, bold colors, speech bubbles, and varying perspectives encourage readers of this suggested general purchase title to jump from page to page with simple words and a busy, flowing visual.
VERDICT Whether for appetizing story hours, classroom cooking, or inspiration to do good works, this book flows with a love for food and community.

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