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STILL-LIFE STEW by Helena Clare Pittman

STILL-LIFE STEW

By Helena Clare Pittman (Author) , Victoria Raymond (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 9

Pub Date: May 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-7868-0251-0
Publisher: Hyperion

A book that begins and ends with vegetables, with an art lesson in between. There’s a lot of fun in these pages, full of luscious textures and bright colors, fully rounded forms, and a mouthwatering premise. Rosa’s big, shining, but empty white paper propels her to her garden for painting inspiration, where she picks vegetables for her still life: tomatoes in all their variegated shapes, peppers galore, potatoes from big and brown to small and russet, spinach, green beans, three kinds of zucchini, leeks, and more. She paints them into a lovely scene, then chops and slices them up for stew for supper. The bouncy text leaps into an occasional rhyme: The typeface becomes bold or bends along the curve of a zucchini, adding to the rhythm. Rosa herself, in her overalls, long squiggly curls, and rosebud mouth, is created from the same Sculpey clay as the vegetables, with the same comfortable three-dimensionality. The author’s and illustrator’s notes are set up like recipes, which is somewhat precious, but still intriguing, and a real recipe for the stew is included. Of course, this ought to be paired with Lois Ehlert’s Growing Vegetable Soup (1987) or her Eating the Alphabet (1989) for a story-hour vegetable course. (Picture book. 3-9)