Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki
Our Little Kitchen
Digital Review Copy from AbramsKids
Tamaki's bright, boisterous illustrations swirl, unfurl and burst off the pages of this deliciously uplifting, inspiring picture book. Drawing from her own experience volunteering at a community kitchen for many years (see her Author's Note), Tamaki takes readers through the Wednesday experience of a diverse group of people who come together in the kitchen, exploring the pantry, the garden and the donations, then turning them into a meal for those in need. Donated day-old bread is perked up in the oven, older carrots are turned into soup and bruised apples are made into a crumble - with the illustrated recipes for vegetable soup and apple crumble as endpapers! As the volunteers prepare the meal, their voices add to the chopping, sizzling music of the kitchen. The perspective of the illustrations changes with every page turn, zooming in and out, up close, overhead and even a cut away, all perfectly capturing the many hands (and movements) that make the meal. As the call to the table is made and the cooks hustle to get their dishes out, readers can feel the excitement and anticipation. The meal is served and the glorious pages that follow show the food being shared, enjoyed, talked over and, finally, cleaned up. Not only is Our Little Kitchen a marvelous example of the power of community and volunteering, it is a celebration of the power of food to bring people together, in the kitchen and at the table.