Book Reviews/October

Cambria Evan’s illustration of stewed eyeballs, Bone Soup, 2008

Because this is the most fantastic time of year, I’d like to offer my two cents on a few fabulous children’s books.

The first is a well-worn favorite of ours. Bone Soup, written and illustrated by Cambria Evans, is a lovingly re-interpreted tale of the original Stone Soup. Evans’ atmospheric renderings of narrow, poorly lit streets invite us to join Finnigan, a starving skeleton who is eternally in search of a delicious, home-spun meal. Finnigan manages to disarm the villagers with a warm smile and invites them out of the shadows to join him for a hearty soup conjured with the help of his suggestion and their disgusting ingredients. Toenail clippings, anyone? By not letting their fear of a stranger have the last word, the villagers enjoy a wonderful meal and time spent together. That’s a good story.

The next is a newbie, What’s Inside A Flower? And Other Questions About Nature, beautifully written and illustrated by Rachel Ignotofsky. Ignotofsky depicts the interdependency of flora and fauna happening all around us deftly with engaging illustrations that are easy on a child’s visual palate and perfect for learning. Although written for children, this charming book is a sound investment for any bookshelf, particularly for gardeners, aspiring gardeners, and nature enthusiasts. It is also an excellent way to catch-up on all the ditties in bio class you may have forgotten, and great for people who learn visually. The lovely illustrations, weaved around pertinent info, make this the perfect addition for the classroom, library or home.

What’s Inside A Flower? And Other Questions About Science And Nature, Rachel Ignotofsky, 2021, Penguin Random House LLC

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