August 4, 2014

Fairy Tale Feasts by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple, illustrated by Philippe Beha

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:13 am by suebe2

Fairy Tale Feasts:  A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters 
by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple
illustrated by Philippe Beha
Crocodile Books

Do you have a young reader who likes hands on involvement in the stories?  Or maybe a bit of background information?  Then check out Fairy Tale Feasts.

This book is a collection of traditional fairy tales and one original tale by Yolen.  The stories range from the well-known, such as Cinderella and Red Riding Hood, to the less known, The Stolen Bread Smells and the Magic Pear Tree.  Each story is accompanied by side bars with notes on the tales, including where they come from and variations on the tale as presented.

The language of these tales has a modern feel and some of the tales include modern details, such as calling 911.  Before you object, realize that these stories would originally have been told, not written, with details massaged and adjusted for time and place.  Even as she makes these modernizations, Yolen stays true to the original tales like the folklorist she is.

Stemples contribution spans the recipes that accompany each story.  They range from a simple porridge (oatmeal) recipe to like stuffed shells and pear grumble.  Although older children might be able to cook many of the recipes on their own, younger children will need assistance which is perfect because these types of stories are a community effort.  Why not follow a similar path with the recipes.

Philippe Beha’s full page illustrations contribute to the modern feel of this book with cartoony, slightly abstract images that keep the tone lively.

This is the perfect book for sharing with short pieces that can easily be read aloud at one sitting followed by recipes that beg for hands on fun.  Pick it up and spend some times with your young story teller or chef.


May 13, 2011

Pretty Princess Pig by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple, illustrated by Sam Williams

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 4:58 pm by suebe2

Pretty Princess Pig
by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple
illustrated by Sam Willaims
Little Simon

Pretty Princess Pig has a big day ahead.  Today is her big tea party.  A tea party calls for a party dress, a clean house, a spiffed up dining room, a carefully set table, flowers and cakes.

Unfortunately, the only step Pretty Princess Pig completes without  making a huge mess is putting on her party dress – Step 1.  As you might expect, by the time the guests arrive, things are pulled together but also a huge mess.  Still, no one says a word as they graciously accept her hospitality.

Williams illustrations are incredibly expressive.  You can easily see Pretty Princess Pig’s eagerness to make things perfect for her guests as well as their dismay at the disarray that greets them.

I’m not a princess fan but I had great sympathy for Pretty Princess Pig.  I’m still the one who constantly has something smeared across her clothes, a lock of hair in her face and either pet hair or my own hair dangling about.

I’ve seen this book called a “board book.”  Don’t order it expecting heavy cardboard pages.  That said the construction is sturdier than your standard picture book with a padded cover and heavy high gloss pages.

Pick up a copy to share with mess-maker in your life who is both girly and chaos on the hoof.  Together you can share this story that is gently sweet and funny all at the same time.  I’m just waiting for a certain someone’s birthday to pass a copy on.


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