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Reading is an excellent way for kids to learn and explore the world around them. It can also help them become better readers, thinkers, and speakers. Reading is a skill that needs to be encouraged and nurtured from an early age. It is not just about the act of reading books, but also about reading anything! You’ll find beautiful illustrations in this assortment of Prestel Junior books; they will delight the minds of young (and old) readers alike!
What’s Cooking in Flowerville? Recipes from Garden, Balcony, or Window Box by Felicita Sala ($14.95; Ages 5-9; 40 pages).
Young cooks will learn about the edible gifts that each season brings! A warm and inviting collection of recipes from the author of What’s Cooking at 10 Garden Street. In lush double-page spreads featuring Sala’s gorgeous watercolor illustrations, we visit the yards, balconies, and rooftops where the citizens of Flowerville grow their vegetables. Each month features a different member of the town and a delicious recipe inspired by a fruit or vegetable.
The town gathers for a giant picnic as the year ends. From spring’s asparagus and peas and summer’s cherries, cucumbers, and peppers to autumn’s pears and squash and winter’s potatoes and citrus—twelve healthy ingredients are harvested in one of the townspeople’s gardens and then used to make an easy, delicious dish. The recipes include savory and sweet pies, soups, sauces, pancakes, and croquettes, embrace various cultures, and feature fresh flavors and easy-to-source ingredients. Kids will learn how to incorporate fruits and vegetables into meals and how they grow and when they ripen. The book also includes charmingly illustrated tips and tools for growing your own food. This unique and beautiful cookbook is sure to become a perennial favorite in family kitchens, a celebration of gardening, cooking, and community.
FELICITA SALA is a self-taught illustrator whose work has been exhibited in Europe and Australia. She works and cooks for her family in Rome, Italy. Find her online at https://felicitasala.com.
Fantastic Fruits by Olaf Hajek and Annette Roeder ($19.95; Ages 6-9; 40 pages)
A beautiful exploration of everyone’s favorite fresh food, Olaf Hajek’s brilliantly colored and uniquely stylized paintings are accompanied by informative texts that will enthrall readers of all ages.
As in his previous books, Flower Power and Veggie Power, Hajek’s whimsical, imaginative paintings—inspired by various artistic traditions—situate each fruit in a fascinating cultural context. Each “portrait” features delightful pictorial clues about how the fruits are grown and consumed. Opposite the illustrations, Annette Roeder’s engaging texts offer illuminating and often surprising facts from throughout history and contemporary life. As mouthwatering as a summer peach and as surprising as a pomegranate’s seeds, this book serves up page after page of delicious, nutritious, but most of all fun portions of fruity knowledge from all over the world.
OLAF HAJEK is an award-winning painter and illustrator whose work has been exhibited in Germany, the U.S., and South Africa. His commercial clients include The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Audubon, Stern, Bombay Sapphire, Anthropologie, Mont Blanc, Macy’s, and Hermes. His most recent books are Flower Power and Veggie Power, both published by Prestel. He lives in Berlin, Germany. Find him online at https://olafhajek.com.
ANNETTE ROEDER, architect and mother of three children, is the successful illustrator and author of numerous children’s books. She has written art and architecture books for children, picture books, children’s books, and novels for adults for over twenty years. She lives with her family on the outskirts of Munich, Germany.
The National Menagerie of Art: Masterpieces from Vincent Van Goat to Lionhardo da Stinki by Thaïs Vanderheyden ($12.95; Ages 5-9; 56 pages)
Elevating serious art to the heights of pure giggle-inducing fun in this collection of cleverly reimagined masterpieces is the perfect way to introduce young readers to great art.
Even the greatest works of art will often fail to enthrall young children. But insert a funny, loveable animal into the scene, and it’s a whole different story. This delightful picture book takes artistic license as it reimagines the world’s most famous paintings for a young audience. A teddy bear surfs Hokusai’s Great Wave; a charming pig changes Mona Lisa’s smile from cryptic to comic; Munch’s scream is far less angsty on a panda’s face, while Whistler’s mother–the elephant–gives new meaning to Arrangement in Grey and Black. While it covers every major artistic school in art history, from Michelangelo and Velázquez to Kahlo and Rothko, each snort and guffaw offers an opportunity to explore the paintings in ways that will help kids remember them for the rest of their lives.
THAÏS VANDERHEYDEN is the author and illustrator of several children’s books. This is her first book published in English. She lives near Antwerp, Belgium. Find her online at http://www.thaisvanderheyden.com.
The Wild Garden by Cynthia Cliff ($16.95; Ages 5-9; 32 pages)
Filled with charmingly rustic illustrations of people, plants, and animals. This story about community and biodiversity introduces children to various ways things can grow and flourish in nature.
In the village of Mirren, a tidy community garden is carefully organized and tended by the townspeople. On the other side of the garden wall are a wild patch of land— a jumble of trees, a pond, and tall grassy places. While the garden is cared for in different ways throughout the seasons, Jilly and her grandfather like to visit the wild place, foraging for mushrooms, asparagus, and nuts and watching the insects, birds, and other animals. When the townspeople decide they need a bigger garden, they plan to expand beyond the wall into the wild place. Worried about what will happen to their special piece of nature, Jilly and her grandfather devise a plan, inviting the townspeople to discover a new kind of gardening. Their plan works, and the wild place and the community garden merge harmoniously; the bees pollinate the crops, berry bushes take over a garden corner, pumpkins grow along the pond, and delicious herbs appear among the ferns. Cynthia Cliff’s lovingly detailed illustrations reveal the joys of every kind of garden, while her story offers endless opportunities to talk about healthy eating, nature, ecological gardening, and friendship.
CYNTHIA CLIFF is a designer and illustrator focusing on children’s books, food and cooking, and flora and fauna. She is the founder of “Pie for Breakfast,” a mother-daughter art blog that features illustrated recipes. She lives outside Washington, D.C. Find her online at https://www.cynthiacliff.com/.
Related: 20 Creative Tips to Get Kids Reading
Prestel Junior Book Giveaway:CLOSED
One winner will receive What’s Cooking in Flowerville?, Fantastic Fruits, The National Menagerie of Art, and The Wild Garden (R.V. $65). Open to U.S. residents of the 48 contiguous United States. You must be 18 years old to enter to win. This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on 8.21.22. See below for terms and conditions.
All entries will be verified—only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. Any person who has won a prize (or whose household has won a prize) in any promotion sponsored by the Sponsor in the past thirty (30) days before this contest start date is not eligible to win a prize in this contest. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Entrants who have created social accounts purely to enter Competitions or Sweepstakes will not be eligible to win. All social accounts used must be public.
The winner will be chosen randomly through Sweep Widget and contacted via email. A reply to the winning email is required within 48 hours before a new winner is chosen—void where prohibited by law. The Review Wire and participating bloggers are not responsible for the prize shipment. One person entering per household, please.