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FAMILY by Isabell Monk


by Isabell Monk & illustrated by Janice Lee Porter

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-57505-485-X
Publisher: Carolrhoda

This sequel to Hope(1999), from the same team, centers on a family feast and a feast of family. Hope is traveling with her white father and African-American mother to her Aunt Poogee's farm for a gathering of her mother's family. Like all extended families, it is a mishmash of personalities, and Hope digs right into the proceedings, which hinge on the meal. Hope has brought a surprise dish that she would like to see make its way into the long-standing core of family recipes. The meal is a family affair, with traditional recipes with all of the food but the crab cakes raised on the farm. Monk's silky narrative and Porter's illustrations, with their light-filled quality of stained glass, create an atmosphere of appealing warmth and a glimpse into what family reunions ought to be like. "Sharing food is a good way of sharing family," Aunt Poogee says to Hope as they sit together on the porch swing in the twilight. "Always add a cup of tradition from your papa's family to a cup from your mama's side." This is a book to be read leisurely, and there is enough text to give it the time it needs, while the artwork bathes the eyes with its savory colors. Readers can try out a few of the recipes that made this feast so fine, even Hope's surprise: pickles with peppermint stick centers. (Picture book. 3-8)