A fun way to introduce food science and bread making to young readers.

READ REVIEW

BREAD LAB!

Iris spends the day with her aunt Mary, who teaches her how to make whole-wheat sourdough bread from starter.

Iris, a bespectacled girl who keeps an unusual number of pets, waves goodbye to her parents as they leave her with Aunt Mary, also bespectacled, who comes bearing packages. Aunt Mary introduces Iris to her starter, which she calls Flora, and tells her about the microbes in it that eat flour and water and release bubbles that make bread rise. Together, they mix and knead the dough, let it rest, fold it, and shape it. While they wait for the loaf to rest, they walk to the park, where Aunt Mary tells Iris that she became a plant scientist because of her interest in growing food. Finally, they get home and, after a close call (the dog is extremely interested in the rising loaf), they bake the bread and eat it with Iris’ parents. Sensory details of sounds, smells, and tastes throughout the story intrigue readers, and the facts about bread are organically introduced even if the characters are not especially memorable. Spare illustrations in hues of yellow, green, and blue highlight Iris’ excitement and curiosity about her world. Readers will delight in learning with her. Iris is brown with an exuberant cloud of hair; her father is black, and her mother and Aunt Mary are white.

A fun way to introduce food science and bread making to young readers. (facts, recipe, note, further resources) (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9984366-0-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Cool and stylish.

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ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

Her intellectual curiosity is surpassed only by her passion for science. But what to do about her messy experiments?

Ada is speechless until she turns 3. But once she learns how to break out of her crib, there’s no stopping the kinky-haired, brown-skinned girl. “She tore through the house on a fact-finding spree.” When she does start speaking, her favorite words are “why,” “how,” and “when.” Her parents, a fashion-forward black couple who sport a variety of trendy outfits, are dumbfounded, and her older brother can only point at her in astonishment. She amazes her friends with her experiments. Ada examines all the clocks in the house, studies the solar system, and analyzes all the smells she encounters. Fortunately, her parents stop her from putting the cat in the dryer, sending her instead to the Thinking Chair. But while there, she covers the wall with formulae. What can her parents do? Instead of punishing her passion, they decide to try to understand it. “It’s all in the heart of a young scientist.” Though her plot is negligible—Ada’s parents arguably change more than she does—Beaty delightfully advocates for girls in science in her now-trademark crisply rhyming text. Roberts’ illustrations, in watercolor, pen, and ink, manage to be both smart and silly; the page compositions artfully evoke the tumult of Ada’s curiosity, filling white backgrounds with questions and clutter.

Cool and stylish. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2137-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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