Friday, 21 March 2014

In the Mind Garden - "Let's Eat!"

Kirsten is heavily into reading aloud, as was her mother before her. When Kirsten and her brother were youngsters, they were allowed two books each per night, and all 4 books were read by one parent, as the other parent cleared the table, and did the dishes. As they grew, they each went to their bed and were read to singularly. We were still reading to Alastair when he was 12.
We have books scattered everywhere around our house. Mamma reads to both girls, Ma reads to both girls, and Dadda reads to Alannah. Alannah also "reads" to herself. She would hear between 5 and 10 books most days.

This was a recent borrowing from the local library. It has a wonderfully European lilt to it when read the right way, and the repetition of "que pena" lends itself to being recited by Alannah. The drawings are deliciously sensuous, as is much of the work of Julie Vivas.
The storyline revolves around eating a meal as a family around the dinner table at 2pm, but each time one member of the family is otherwise occupied. This lends considerable depth to each character. We learn about fiesta, old castles, kitchen gardens, carpentry workshops, and cafeterias. One by one the meals are revealed to be gazpacho, empanadas, sardinas, and paella.

It is a very rich story about three generations living under the same roof, somewhere in Spain. The story and the characters, lead to extended finger-puppet play upon a theme. The illustrator and writer are mother and daughter.

"Let's Eat" written by Ana Zamorano, illustrated by Julie Vivas
Published by Scholastic Press, 1997

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