Elem. – A Spoonful of Frogs

Lyall, Casey, and Vera Brosgol, Illustrator. A Spoonful of Frogs. Greenwillow Books, 2022. 978-0-062-89029-0. unpaged. $17.99. Grades K-2.

Welcome to Bewitching Kitchen, where today’s featured recipe is Frog Soup. This easy and healthy recipe is every witch’s favorite treat! Ingredients include garlic, carrots, fly extract, and a spoonful of frogs for flavor and a “pop of color.” Unfortunately, the frogs in this witch’s kitchen are less than enthusiastic about jumping onto the spoon and into the pot. They outwit an increasingly frazzled witch before leading her on a chase across the street and right into a nearby pond. Luckily, the witch comes up with an acceptable substitute for frogs that saves both the recipe … and the frogs! Young readers will delight in the exaggerated physical comedy as the witch’s composure dissolves amidst the increasing chaos. They also will root for the adorable, wily frogs.

THOUGHTS: Vera Brosgol’s entertaining digital artwork enlivens Casey Lyall’s minimal, action-oriented text. This is a great selection for Halloween as well as introducing the cookbook section. Laughs are guaranteed! 

Picture Book          Amy V. Pickett, Ridley SD

Elem. – Follow the Recipe: Poems about Imagination, Celebration and Cake

Singer, Marilyn. Follow the Recipe: Poems about Imagination, Celebration and Cake. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2020. $16.99. 978-0-7352-2790-3. 48 p. Grades 2-5. 

An eclectic anthology of poetic recipes on a wide array of subjects. Rather than listing ingredients for a favorite dish, these recipes feature sage advice ranging in topics from success in cooking, to courage, magic, and substitution. A few of the poems stick to foodie themes. “Recipe for Adventure” is a celebration of less common produce such as kohlrabi and rambutan. Others stray far from food as the topic in favor of other concepts. In the “Recipe for Fairy Tales” well-known components of favorite tales are listed as ingredients: “a handful of magical beans\ a gathering of ramps (whatever that means).” Illustrations composed of vibrantly colored goauche, block print, and collage fill each page. 

THOUGHTS: A unique anthology with a wide range of poetic styles to add to any school library’s poetry collection. 

811 Poetry          Jackie Fulton, Mt. Lebanon SD