Tuesday, April 13, 2021

"Mona Lisa in New York", "Pie for Breakfast: Simple Baking Recipes for Kids", & "Veggie Power" from Prestel Publishing

Mona Lisa in New York by Yevgenia Nayberg (ISBN: 978-3791374451; Hardcover $14.95; Ages 4-8; 32 pages)

My thoughts:   
Although the famous, beloved painting of The Mona Lisa is strictly conventional art at its finest; however, in this book Mona Lisa in New York the illustrations take a distinctly modern, abstract, cubicist style. "Mona" is flitting about New York visiting  places that make New York famous and a true tourist attraction.

She slips out of her frame and ventures forth to see NYC for herself. But outside her frame, no one noticed her. "Mona" continues to keep her smile whilst she enjoys NYC.  She meets "Tag" (which is street art murials) and he takes her all about the city. 

A whimsical story that in an artsy way shows conventional and modern art styles in a fun story.

About the book: Mona Lisa is a tourist in New York City who experiences the city for the first time, and finds art, love, and inspiration in unexpected places.

Mona Lisa is taking a trip to New York from the Louvre. Yes, that Mona Lisa. The one with the knowing smile. After hanging in the museum for a while she decides to explore the city. She slips out of her painting and meets Tag, a street art figure. He takes her on an adventure from the Bronx to the Brooklyn Bridge and it turns out Mona Lisa doesn't know as much as she thought. In this beautiful and charming book, artist Yevgenia Nayberg, an immigrant to New York herself, shows young readers the city she has fallen in love with. Cleverly portraying da Vinci's iconic subject as a world-weary, know-it-all, Nayberg takes readers on a tour of New York. Mona Lisa and Tag eat pizza in the Bronx, listen to jazz in Harlem, dance to salsa music on the High Line, and swim at Brighton Beach. As Mona Lisa says goodbye to her new friend, she--and the readers--come away with a profound appreciation of the city and its wonders.

Pie for Breakfast: Simple Baking Recipes for Kids by Cynthia Cliff (ISBN: 978-3791374604; Hardcover $16.95; Ages 5-9; 40 pages)

My thoughts**:
I just love children's recipe books. This "love" goes back to a cooking class that I, as a child, took and received my own children's starter cookbook. Many years later, my own children used that same cookbook as they ventured into the world of cooking. I have acquired children's cookbooks for my children and grands through the years. 

In Pie for Breakfast: Simple Baking Recipes for Kids children venture into baking as activity in a community effort to raise funding for the library. The setting is a variety of kitchens and peoples showing a bit of the diversity of life and of their diverse baking recipes.

They are having a bake sale for the benefit of the library. Children are joyfully involved baking a variety of items to sell at the bake sale. Some are making extra for sharing with family. 

One father says it is o.k. to have pie for breakfast as long as you don't do it too often.

Definitely a fun "cookbook."

**I have ignored the "family" with 2 daddies in this book simply because it is a lovely book and teaches the children cooking and actively participating in community support - the bake sale. Therefore, I recommend this book with reservation.

About the book: A beautifully illustrated baking book for children featuring recipes for delicious treats along with a powerful message about family, diversity, and helping others.

When Hazel and her father bake together, her mother says they make the whole house smell like a fancy bakery. And when they bake in the morning, they get to eat their goods as a special treat--even if it's for breakfast. One day Hazel decides to organize a morning bake sale for her school and encourages her friends to contribute to the effort. The results take readers all over the world, from strawberry mochi and pumpkin empanadas to Indian-spiced shortbread and Egyptian basbousa cake. Best of all, each of these treats including with muffins, carrot cake, scones, and vegan and gluten-free items--comes with its own easy-to-follow recipe. Cynthia Cliff's charming illustrations combine the simplicity of folk art with a sophisticated flair. Her down-to-earth baking accommodate all sorts of substitutions and skill levels. The perfect book for satisfying baking, Pie for Breakfast introduces children to new flavors and treats, opening their palates and their eyes to the delicious ways that baking can bring us together.antarctica.jpg

Veggie Power by Olaf Hajek (ISBN: 978-3791374789; Hardcover $19.95; Ages 8-12; 40 pages)

My thoughts: 
As the season changes to warmer days and nights, many people are envisioning their own garden plots and the succulent vegetables they plan to grow. Others are looking forward to grocers and markets abounding in a verdant abundance of colorful vegetables.

But just how much do we all actually know about vegetables? What about their history? What about the good and the not-so-good aspects of each of the plants?

In Veggie Power the author writes information that will whet one's mental appetite and create a sense of gastric desire. The illustrations are coloful, detailed, robust and tend toward a festive and whimsical or magical glimpse into the world of veggies.

There is so much to capture one's interest in this beautiful, oversize book. I recommend.

About the book: An illustrated garden of vegetable delights that will make children interested in learning about what's on their plates.

As more and more families focus on local and organic eating, this delightful introduction to common vegetables offers a delectable serving of uncommonly beautiful illustrations and fascinating information. As in his previous book, Flower Power, Olaf Hajek's wondrously imaginative and detailed illustrations of vegetables are paired with engaging and eye-opening texts. Organized by season, the book tells how each vegetable is grown, how it can be enjoyed on our plates, its health benefits, historical tidbits, and botanical fun facts. From the first spring onion to pumpkins harvested just before the frost, this inviting journey through the growing seasons celebrates the artistic, historical, and culinary bounty that awaits us in the garden and at the table.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copies to facilitate reviews. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. 

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