The Bread Pet: A Sourdough Story
Author: Kate De Palma
Illustrator: Nelleke Verhoeff
Ages: 4 – 9 years old (Grades P to 4)
There are even instructions for making a sourdough starter and a recipe for sourdough bread at the end of the book.
What happens when Cora’s Uncle JB asks her to take care of his very special pet? Well, when JB inadvertently leaves out a very important instruction, chaos ensues for Cora and her moms! A science and technology story that is fun for the entire family (and yes, I know how trite that expression is, but it’s true!) The Bread Pet: A Sourdough Story, has a little bit of something for everyone.
Cora is charged with babysitting a sourdough starter. Her Uncle teaches her how to water and feed it regularly. Then he’s off on his own adventure. The starter, being a living, breathing organism, does what a starter is supposed to do. It starts to multiply. And multiply. And multiply. And—hilarity ensues.
This book really does have all the bases covered. Solid writing, fun whimsical illustrations, math, science, and humor. What more is there to want? Wait! There are even instructions for making a sourdough starter and a recipe for sourdough bread at the end of the book.
The key to making the book successful, however, is that it actually has a well-developed, original storyline that unifies all of the elements. De Palma knows that children are capable of understanding complex stories even at a young age. She interweaves dialogue into narrative prose driving the flow and keeping the action moving at a clip. This is, after all, an adventure. “What’s going to happen next?” Is the subtext playing throughout. Verhoeff’s illustrations, playful and bright, accent the text with a diverse cast of characters and cleverly illustrated “bread pets.”
This book is not only a funny story for kids, it also does duty as both cooking and science lessons. If you have an adult in your life that loves to bake, this may be the perfect gift for them as well.
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The Bread Pet: A Sourdough Story (Hardcover at Amazon)*
My thanks to Edelweiss and the Publisher for providing an Advance Copy of this book. The views expressed herein are my own.
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