Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kitchen Capers

Five perky porkies and one Papa wave goodbye as Mama leaves for the day.With lawn mowing on his agenda, Papa is seen hard at work through the window.  Where, you ask, are the youngsters?  There are Piggies in the Kitchen. 

Four line rhyming verses tell the tale of lively action and creative messes made as ingredients are blended and unknown concoctions are stirred into being. Three different times the funny, furious fury halts as sounds are heard outside.  Is it Mama?  Not yet, it's Mrs. Cow, Mrs. Mouse and Mrs. Sheep.

         GLUP, GLUP, OINK, OINK---Pour another cup.
          VROOM, VROOM, VROOM, VROOM---"Someone's driving up!"...

                        ...SNIP, SNAP go the blinds.
                        "Is Mama coming NOW?"

Mowing completed Papa enters, piggies freeze guilty wide-eyed expressions on their faces amid his astonished questions.  Asked for help their faithful father assists in baking and cleanup.  Friends and family gather for the surprise in a closing that is delicious and filling.

Author, Michelle Meadows, has a knack for mixing words together that tempt listeners and readers to move to the beat that flows throughout her books.  Her stories invite audience participation with phrase repetition.  Each time the piggies pause in their preparations they say: 
                                     Cover up the batter,
                                     hide the wooden spoon.
                                     Brush away the sugar,
                                     whistling a tune.

I can just hear the laughter of my students as that rhyme is repeated in the appropriate spot.  Meadows, at her web site, offers story stretchers and writing activities to pair with this title.  Students can retell the tale by listing the ingredients and putting them in their proper order, or storyboarding the action.

Pen and ink with watercolor pictures by illustrator, Ard Hoyt, that are framed in white or bleed across one and two page layouts are downright gleeful.  Attention to detail is evident on every page including the cover.  Note the color of the title text, the curly tail on the letter G and the snout on the letter E. 

This is a most welcome addition to the realm of pig and cooking books.  It just makes me want to hurry into the kitchen and whip up a batch of Cherry Chocolate Chip cookies.  Yum, yum, oink, oink!

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