Inspired by the childhood of Edna Lewis (the cook and writer credited by many with starting the slow food movement), this picture book for 4- to 8-year-olds, celebrates the pleasures and poetry of growing, harvesting, cooking, and sharing food with family and friends. From the author’s note: “Edna Lewis was born in 1916 in Freetown, Virginia, a community founded by her grandfather and two other emancipated slaves. The people of Freetown were farmers, and they lived by the seasons, growing and harvesting their own cops, gathering nature’s wild bounty.”
— Ga, Children's Book Buyer
Long before the natural-food movement gained popularity, before greenmarkets sprouted across the United States, Edna Lewis championed purity of ingredients, regional cuisine, and the importance of bringing food directly from the farm to the table. She was a chef when female chefs—let alone African American female chefs—were few and far between, and she received many awards for her work. With lyrical text and glorious watercolor illustrations, author/illustrator Robbin Gourley lovingly traces the childhood roots of Edna's appreciation for the bounties of nature. The story follows Edna from early spring through the growing season to a family dinner celebrating a successful harvest. Folk rhymes, sayings, and songs about food are sprinkled throughout the text, and five kid-friendly recipes and an author's note about Edna's life are included at the end.
About the Author
Robbin Gourley is an artist and art director as well as an author and illustrator of cookbooks and picture books. She divides her time between rural Pennsylvania and Brooklyn, New York.
“In her children’s book debut, cookbook author/illustrator Gourley celebrates food, as cultivated on a farm and as used to cultivate family bonds. . . . Children whose experience of food supply is limited to grocery stores, school cafeterias and other eateries will relish this nostalgic view.”—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
“Gourley’s luscious watercolors will have readers salivating as the berries plunk into pails and peach juice drips down chins.”—School Library Journal, STARRED review
“A mouthwatering morsel that should come with the warning to eat before reading!”—Kirkus Reviews
“Gourley’s watercolor illustrations are fluidly drawn and attractively designed, with emphasis on the colors and visual rhythms of the vegetation but plenty of eloquence in the portraits of the family. . . . A happy account with a useful emphasis on seasonality.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This debut children’s book by an artist and cookbook author celebrates the growing seasons and the irreplaceable pleasure of fresh food shared with family.”—Booklist