Kidlit Soup?

Libby Gruner, from the online magazine Literary Mama says in “Time to Eat,” one of her many great articles: “I’ve heard it said that food is the sex of children’s books – in fact, the medium through which we feel comfortable exploring desire and its fulfillment.” I had never heard that analogy before and, because I am fascinated by the theme of food in children’s literature, found it quite thought-provoking. In keeping with the theme, today I am taking the liberty to borrow the late Carol Hurst‘s zestful idea of a literary soup to put together my own recipe, using ingredients I found on my bookshelves. Adapting her original recipe to incorporate multicultural titles, this mix should make for a hearty…hmm… stew? sancocho? bee-bim bop? kimchi?… I’m not sure yet, but you probably get the gist of the mix, now.

Grandma’s Saturday SoupSo we need a pot… How about we borrow the one used in Grandma’s Saturday Soup? As for tomatoes and corn, there’s plenty in Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems and The Fiesta of the Tortillas. With a few more vegetables from The Ugly Vegetables story (have no fear, they are very tasty!), some fresh fish and clams from Lakas and the Manilatown Fish and Singing Shijimi Clams; a pinch of garam masala from Masala: Poems from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and a poetic onion from If I Had a Million Onions, we have ourselves a worldly flavor fusion. Whatever the result of this particular combo, it smells like gourmet kidlit to me… Wouldn’t you agree?

Now will you add your own ingredients and share a recipe with us?

4 Responses to “Kidlit Soup?”

  1. Frances Lee Hall Says:

    Food is often one of my favorite things to write about!

    One of my all time favorite “food” picture books is Lenore Look’s LOVE AS STRONG AS GINGER. A mouth-watering, truly endearing story about Katie and Gnin-Gnin, her grandmother. Katie thinks it might be fun to accompany Gnin-Gnin to her job as a crab cracker. She discovers how hard her grandmothers works, and gains new appreciation for her in many ways. Wonderful intergenerational, immigrant and food-related themes. Stephen Johnson’s illustrations really capture the grandmother’s toughness and tenderness without being over sentimental.

    I look forward to reading the books you mentioned.

    So glad you’re throwing in some ginger into the mix! “Love as Strong as Ginger” is a great story – so endearing and gentle… And speaking of Lenore Look, don’t you also love her two “Ruby Lu” books? I’m a huge fan!

  2. Frances Lee Hall Says:

    What I love the most about Look’s RUBY LU books is the humor!

  3. Marjorie Says:

    How about some dessert – something refreshing like Watermelon Wishes? :-)