Posts Tagged ‘transform’

A young boy and his grandma ride the bus each week. This week, CJ has a lot for questions for his Nana:  Why do they have to walk in the rain? Why don’t they have a car like his friends? Why is the neighbourhood so dirty? As Nana answers CJ’s questions, CJ’s perception of things begin to change. A lovely story about shifting the way we see things.

When I first cracked this book, I thought it was about a boy learning to see his neighbourhood differently, but after a more careful reading, I see that Nana and CJ are in that neighbourhood to help out a soup kitchen. While I still feel the book would be a great read aloud, I think it would be more poignant and relevant to my students, who live in the inner city, if CJ and Nana lived in the neighbourhood with soup kitchens, boarded up stores, and graffiti littering walls.

I love how the main characters have brown skin and yet the book isn’t ‘multicultural.’ I  get so tired of only seeing/reading about people of non-European descent in books only if the book is specifically about ‘culture’ or multiculturalism’ or cultural holidays or the non-white person is the sidekick. Enough already.

I also love how the minor characters are diverse: many skin tones, a blind person, someone in a wheelchair, a homeless person,a guy with tattoos…

A lovely read aloud to prompt discussion, gorgeously illustrated.

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A stunning wordless book by Anne-Margot Ramstein and Matthias Aregui, that shows before and after images of things that transform. Beautifully illustrated. Use as a ‘read aloud’ or to launch an art project.

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Do you have an intimate and emotional relationship with food? I know I do! There’s nothing quite like comfort food handmade and served up by someone you’re very close to in difficult or celebratory times. There’s nothing like bringing dear friends and family nourishing and heartwarming dishes during a crisis or after a birth. And sharing a meal with people you love? That’s one of the best things in the world and I’m not the only one who thinks so.

I want to tell you something I’ve learned. Cooking is about life. It gives us what we need to keep going, and it gives us something to share with people. People don’t think about that enough… Foster McFee

Close to Famous by Joan Bauer

Foster, a passionate cook and baker who is always practicing for her own Food Network show, and her mom are on the run from the mom’s violent ex-boyfriend and Elvis impersonator, ending up in a small town deeply affected by the new prison and the impending sale of the church to a taco franchise. Quickly Foster and her mom become involved in eccentric characters of Culpepper: Miss Charleena the aging and moody ex-Hollywood star, Angry Wayne of Angry Wayne’s Grill and Bar, Mr. Fish and his daughter Amy the owners and operators of the local hardware store, and Macon who becomes Foster’s new best friend and aspiring documentary filmmaker. And that’s just a small sample of the funny people you come to love.

Foster is trying to adjust to her new life, share her cupcakes and muffins, evade the violent ex, and hide her deep dark secret: she can’t read.


The quirky characters, small town life, and how these eccentric girl characters affect the lives of their community remind me of  of Because of Winn Dixie and The Higher Power of LuckyEverything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath has all that and the healing importance of food. The local restaurant ‘Girl on the Red Swing’ is where Primrose goes to for the warmth and wisdom of the owner Miss Bowzer and of course the food, all of which comes served on a waffle. Recipes included.


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