Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Everybody Cooks Rice by Norah Dooley

This is the first book in a series "Everybody [cooking verb] [food item]." In this fun children's book, a little girl is told to go fetch her younger brother, who often wanders around the neighborhood before dinnertime. As she follows in his wake, she briefly recounts her experiences in each house as each family prepares their evening meal. They are all eating dinners that involve rice--yum!

The cool thing about Everybody Cooks Rice is that all of the families come from different cultural backgrounds and are cooking rice in different ways. Even though the rice dishes do adhere to stereotypes of the cultures, I think it's a great way for young children to start thinking about how they do things and how other families do things. (And I'm saying this as someone whose family favorite rice dish--a dish to which we are very attached--is bastardized from a culture with which I have no connection.)

Of course, the book also shows you that even though we all do things differently, we all have a lot in common. And the book seems to celebrate both the commonalities and the differences, encouraging healthy neighborhood building and community spirit.

And really the best part of the book is the end… I won't give away the surprise, but let's just say that you get to put into practice what happens in the story, teaching your children about diversity not just through the sense of sight (viewing words and pictures), but through the sense of taste as well!

If you like this book, you should look up Everybody Bakes Bread. Insane!


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