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Posted February 2, 2013
OPENING AND SYNOPSIS: “Turning a long metal skewer, the cook roasts a whole swan over a blazing fire. For gravy, he mixes the bird’s blood with its heart, liver, and guts. He stirs in pieces of bread and adds some broth. The swan’s skin and feathers are then stuck back onto its body to make it look alive. Dinner is served!”
Enjoy reading about mouth-watering “delicacies” like this roast swan, pottage (think gruel), blackbird-filled pies and more in this delightful romp through medieval cooking. In 48 pages, Stiefel covers royal food and feasts, as well as the peasants’ plight. She also looks at the constant threat of starvation that plagued the people of the Middle Ages.
WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: This gross-out books is gobs of fun. Stiefel’s prose is delightfully descriptive. Her conversational and humorous voice truly put the “story” in this history. Yet, at the same time, it’s clear this is a well-researched text. Stiefel includes quotes from people who lived in the Middle Ages, as well as other tidbits, like the shopping list for a 6,000-person feast. Gerald Kelley’s lively illustrations are a perfect match for the text, keeping the book fun and engaging for young readers. You’ll find it hard to put down.
SOURCE: Publisher-provided copy
INTENDED AUDIENCE: Grades 3-5 (Amazon), Grades 5 – 9 (publisher); I think Amazon’s grade-level designation is more appropriate
Posted July 11, 2012
Hummingbirds. Beavers’ tails. Cow udders. That’s just a taste of what’s on the menu in THERE'S A RAT IN MY SOUP. Part of Enslow’s YE YUCKY MIDDLE AGES series, this installment focuses on medieval food. Other books in the series cover knights, castle life and medieval medicine. Stiefel uses the spoonful of sugar makes the history go down approach. Chapter headings include “Freaky Feasts”, “The Royal Table”, “Gruel Again”, and “Empty Bellies.” Packed with ewws, this fun and light-hearted book will please lovers of fairy tales and fantasy. But, reader, beware! You may never look at true love’s first kiss in quite the same way: Toothbrushes weren’t yet invented in the Middle Ages. While Snow White may have had lips of ruby red, her breath would have knocked Prince Charming stone cold dead. Enslow provided me with a complimentary copy of the book to review. Recommended for Grades 5-9. ISBN-13: 9781598453751.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.