Archive for May 20th, 2011

May 20, 2011

A book you’ll read in the kitchen: TANGERINE AND KIWI VISIT THE BREAD BAKER

If I could choose to pass only one thing down to my child, it would be good food.  After all, we are what we eat. Our bodies are our temples, and so on and so forth.  Modern science is finally catching on to what ancient traditions have always known—most of our problems will go away (or never appear!) if we eat well.

Eating with my 3-year-old has been a constant source of concern for me.  When he eats his veggies, I am so excited I have a hard time not showing it.  Same thing when he doesn’t–I work hard not to show my disappointment.  Like in a lot of areas of parenting, I spend a lot of internal energy making sure that my exterior is as cool as a cucumber.  Based on what I read on the parenting websites and in the magazines, I try not to make meal time a power struggle or emotional fight.  I don’t want to tell my kid he HAS to eat something because I don’t want him to refuse just to spite me.  I don’t want to tell him he will get dessert if he eats something because I don’t want sugar to become the reward and vitamins the hard work you have to do to get the reward.  Really, I just want to put the food in front of him and have him magically eat it up.

Well, that happens sometimes.  But there are also the times when he doesn’t eat it and I smile anyway and take his plate away.  Or the times when I can’t help myself and I do tell him he has to have three more bites.  Or the times when I persuade, argue and coerce him to try just one more thing.  Or the times when I hold dessert out as the carrot, irony intended.  So through a combination of tactics that parenting experts would both applaud and deride, I continue, as we all continue, as a mother of necessity.

When I saw this book in the Owl Kids book catalog, I was really excited and requested it immediately.  They sent me a review copy and I’m excited to spread the word.  Yes, this book is about bread, and I’m sure you could debate the health factors of bread.  But to me, this book touches on something much more important, something we have lost complete touch with: where our food comes from and how we make it.  Because at the end of the day, if you are eating something you made with your own hands, instead of something out of a plastic package, then you’re a step ahead.

And with childhood obesity hitting our country like an epidemic, it’s high time we all took those small steps with all of our children.

Title: Tangerine and Kiwi Visit the Bread Baker
Author: Laïla Héloua
Illustrator: Nathalie Lapierre
Translator: Sarah Cummins
Genre: Picture Book
Age: 0 – 7

Summary and Review:

Tangerine and Kiwi stay at their grandparents house and learn to make bread.  They learn about the flour and water, the yeast and the salt.  They hear stories about their Mom wh used to help make bread in the family bakery.  They do the work themselves, bake the bread over a wood fire, and, best of all, eat it up.  The illustrations are done in warm oranges and browns, which helps you visualize and almost smell the aroma of a warm loaf of bread.  There is a recipe at the end of the book.

The story is simple but the message is powerful.  The more children understand what food is and where it comes from, they more they will be able to make their own healthy choices as they grow up.

Follow-up with the kids:

There’s only one thing to do: bake bread!  The book even includes a recipe and directions.

This is an activity that kids will love!  Lots of mixing, kneading, and hands-on gooeyness.  They will be really excited to see the dough after it’s risen—I can remember being so excited myself when my mom made her special rolls for Thanksgiving.  And to this day, I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing that swollen mound in the bowl, just waiting for me to bake it and eat it.

Thank you, Owl Kids, for the review copy!  I really enjoyed the book!

And if you like this one, here are some others I can’t wait to read to my son: