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)