Friday, February 21, 2014

PPBF: The Market Bowl

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Jim Averbeck's The Market Bowl
The Market Bowl
Written and illustrated by Jim Averbeck
Charlesbridge, 2013
Fiction, grades 3-5,
Lexile 600L, word count 1034

Themes:
Folk Tale, Bravery, Magic, Cooking

Opening:
     Mama Cecile sang to Yoyo, teaching her to make bitterleaf stew.
     "Slice the bitterleaf thin as a whisper. Wash it in water, cleaning it well. Grind the egusi. Add a knuckle of njanga. Simmer some time for a fine stew to sell."
     "Mama, please," Yoyo said. "I can make my own stew. I am not a baby."


Synopsis:
Yoyo is not patient enough to learn Mama Cecile's song or to cook the bitterleaf stew just so. She is in a hurry to get the stew to market. When her overestimation of her talents lead to a loss of income, Yoyo must find Brother Coin and convince him to return the blessing to her family's market bowl. It will take all Yoyo's cunning, charm, and cooking know-how to outwit Brother Coin in this Cameroonian folk tale.


What I Love:
I love a story with food in it. Jim Averbeck weaves plenty of cultural details into this clever trickster tale. His quirky collage paintings add a homemade charm, just like his main character's homemade stew. And what foodie can resist the included recipe for Americanized bitterleaf stew?


Bonus:
Collage pet portraits from Trudy K. Taylor's blog.
1. Here is a companion recipe for Guinea corn fufu from AfricanCooking.org
2. Cameroon is famous for its beautiful handicrafts. ChildrenInspireDesign offers some masks that can be adapted for a more traditional look.
3. Try this tutorial if the illustrations in this book have inspired you to create a collage of your own.
4. While you're at the library, why not pick up another Cameroonian tale, The Fortune-Tellers, by Lloyd Alexander and Trina Schart Hyman.

The Fortune-Tellers


Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for February 21, 2014, available on Susanna Leonard Hill's excellent blog.

2 comments:

  1. That Yoyo on the cover looks pretty sassy. Sounds like a cute book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's definitely a girl who knows her own mind. I miss the mounds of folktale picture books from the 80's. It's nice to see there are still some being published.

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