Boy Soup (Loris Lesynski, author. Michael Martchenko, illustrator. Annick Press, 2008)
Poor Giant is sick, sick, sick. Many of us can relate in this cold and flu season we are presently enduring. Giant’s medical guide recommends none other than Boy Soup to ease his symptoms. He promptly sets off to find the soup’s key ingredient, and easily finds five boys–and Kate. Thank goodness for Kate, as it is she who concocts a way to save them all from the bottom of the Giant’s soup pot (I love the quiet ‘girl power’ theme in this book). There are plenty of chuckles to be had as you study Giant’s facial expressions as well as the finer details of Martchenko’s illustrations. Lesynski’s rhyming text is scrumptious right to the last letter. My family discovered this picture book by chance at the library many months ago and my three year-old has asked to borrow it repeatedly since. This book would be worth permanently stocking on your bookshelf; it could be read all winter long, and then some.
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (Marjorie Priceman, Alfred A. Knopf, 1995)
I have never come across another picture book that is a culinary adventure story (if you know of one let me know!). This book includes step-by-step instructions about how to collect the ingredients for and make an apple pie. It also shares practical advice that you won’t get just anywhere, such as finding a chicken and bringing it with you to reduce the chances of breaking the eggs. The ending of this picture book ties in cleverly with the beginning, hinting that another excursion to collect the ingredients to make ice cream may be necessary. Thankfully the adventure is over, because the reader may feel slightly exhausted from the international pie-making adventure that they have just been taken on. In my opinion, the final page turn is even more satisfying than eating apple pie ‘a la mode’ (and that is tough to compete with). This picture book will be a favourite for food lovers, travellers, and those that enjoy a little silliness.