An eclectic collection of recipes—not for cooking but for life.
Employing myriad forms—from traditional sonnets to syncopated free verse—Singer hopscotches from themes revealing commonalities among food, recipes, and poetry to broader, kid-friendly treatments of nature, reading, and social studies. The collection starts with a definition: “What’s in a good recipe? / Something right for me and you / Steps to follow, A to Z.” Another poem draws parallels between writing and cooking: “Sometimes you must follow things strictly word for word. / Sometimes it’s more lively if you improvise.” A cluster of haiku becomes a guide to enjoying the seasons: “Pomegranate seeds: / In fall, I am rich enough / to dine on rubies.” Another poem muses on memories: “Sometimes it’s just a sharp whiff of mustard, / and you recall being at the ballpark.” Toward the end of the book, poems grow increasingly sophisticated, offering recipes for courage and understanding. Priceman’s playful combination of collage, printmaking, and energetic brush strokes evokes the offbeat nostalgia of a grandma’s recipe box. Her inclusion of a multiracial cast is commendable. While most of the poems tickle the imagination and roll smoothly off the tongue, a few fall flat, such as this that ends, “Although sometimes, / you’re bound to fail, / keep measuring—and use a scale.”
A mixed bag thematically but a delicious collection nevertheless.(Picture book/poetry. 6-11)