All summer I’ll be sharing books for kids of all ages on topics that will interest them or offer them a new interest to learn about. Most of the time these will be nonfiction books, but sometimes we can learn how to be better people or learn empathy from fictional stories too.
So, I hope you will stay tuned to these posts. They will always have Summer Read-to-Learn in the title and in the tags. It’s so important to prevent that summer slide with our kids, so I hope you can use these books to keep them reading and learning all summer long. See all the posts, HERE.
WHAT’S COOKING IN FLOWERVILLE?
Recipes from Balconies, Rooftops, and Gardens
By: Felicita Sala
Published: April 5, 2022
Publisher: Prestel Junior
Spring has arrived in Flowerville and everyone is busy planting the gardens. As we travel through the book, we see the various fruits and vegetables that are harvested during the seasons along with recipes to go along with the bountiful harvest.
From an Asparagus Quiche in April to a Potato and Cod Croquette in December and finally an Herb Falafel in March, a whole year of fresh food has been grown, eaten, and shared. Then the hope of a new Spring season arrives with the blooms on the trees and everyone is excited to be back in the gardens again. When Spring days are finally here, the entire community returns to the park with baskets full of food and blankets to set out for a community-wide picnic to celebrate the return of Spring to Flowerville.
The end of the book includes helpful instructions for growing a garden of herbs, vegetables, and fruit. How to recycle and compost, harvest, and then most importantly, share the bounty is included in the instructions. An illustrated glossary of seeds, garden tools, fruits, and vegetables helps children identify the items they would like to grow.
So many of the recipes sound absolutely delicious, but I must say, most will need adult assistance. Kids will be able to look at the recipe and find all the required ingredients but may need help with cutting or other tasks depending on the age of the child.
I had several recipes I wanted to try and chose the Cherry Clafoutis mostly because I had never heard of a Clafoutis. It is a custard-like dessert that originated in France and it was quite delicious. What I didn’t enjoy was pitting all the cherries. Ha! But, it was worth it once we tasted this tart and sweet cherry dessert. What I appreciated about the variety of recipes in this book are the various cultures that are included and that the majority of the dishes are ones I haven’t tried or heard of. Reading this book will help your kids be excited about going to the market and choosing a new vegetable to try with the recipe in the book or maybe growing their very own squash to eat this fall. My next recipe to try will be the asparagus quiche as the asparagus is bountiful here right now.
The illustrations of families working in the garden together and detailed vegetables and fruit make this a book to add to your cookbook shelf. This is a complete celebration of gardening together as a family and then enjoying the “fruits” of that labor in our own kitchens.
Felicita Sala is a self-taught artist and 2020 winner of the premio Andersen, the most prestigious prize in Italy for an illustrator. She has illustrated numerous children’s picture books. She lives in Rome, Italy.