In this celebration of gardening and healthy eating, siblings pick vegetables on a rainy day to make Rainbow Stew with Grandpa.
Children's Literature - Leona IlligIt is raining, and the kids do not know what to do. But that is not a problem in this delightful story about an African American Grandpa and his three grandchildren, who happen to visit him on a rainy day. Grandpa has a wonderful vegetable garden, and, fortunately, he has a recipe for a spectacular stew. Soon he has the kids picking vegetables of all colors, sizes, and shapes, to put in his vegetable stew. The result is a delicious and nutritious lunch, and an opportunity for the children to get to know Grandpa better. The story is told in verse, in a varying rhyme scheme and with a refrain that children can learn and repeat along with adults. The verses are short, and, with some help, young readers should be able to pick out and read many of the words. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and full-page; some are quite lovely. A recipe for Rainbow Stew is contained in the back of the book. This is a comforting, pleasant book that is ideal for young children and bedtime. It promotes family life, reading, good eating, and nature. It is also eminently suitable for parents who want their children to eat and enjoy vegetables. Perhaps most importantly, however, this book is a welcome addition to the genre of good picture books that portray minorities. Reviewer: Leona Illig
School Library JournalPreS-Gr 1—Falwell's familiar multimedia collages are at their best in deep cobalt, lime, and garnet in this celebration of family gardens. Awesome Grandpa not only prepares pancakes for breakfast, but also makes the most of a rainy day by gearing up his three grandchildren to harvest his veggies despite the weather, "lifting up the drippy leaves,/we see what colors grow." The four fill their basket with kale, spinach, zucchini, radishes, and more. Luckily, Grandpa also endorses mud play, followed by thorough washing and a family preparation of Rainbow Stew. The author provides a slice of cozy family life. A lengthy recipe for the title dish appears on the final page.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
Kirkus ReviewsVibrant multimedia collage harkens back to Falwell's Feast for 10 (1993), this time with a homegrown feast for four in a concept book about colors rather than counting. Three African-American children visiting their grandfather are disappointed when they awaken to a rainy day, but Grandpa doesn't keep them cooped up indoors. Instead, they all don rain gear and go outside with baskets to harvest vegetables from a backyard garden. Subsequent pages show the family gathering first green veggies, then a veritable rainbow of yellow peppers, purple cabbage heads, rosy radishes, red tomatoes, orange carrots, purple eggplants and even brown potatoes. After romping about for a bit, they go inside, dry, off and clean up, and then Grandpa and the children cook up a pot of his famous rainbow stew. The final page of the book even offers readers a recipe to try out--an enticing possibility after reading a story that positively revels in family togetherness and good food. The typeface of key words changes color as the rhyming text carries readers through the day, reflecting the theme. A treat. (Picture book. 2-6)
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