I was drawn to this book in the bookstore because of the cover, though I can’t place which one, it reminded me of a book or books from my childhood. Opening it up and leafing through it I was mesmerized with both the style and the subject matter—a myriad of joyful, helpful, diverse folks obviously working together.
The story documents one Wednesday afternoon in a small community kitchen. Volunteers gather there, aprons up and begin forging the cupboards, the refrigerator, and the community garden for ingredients.
With page turns, more volunteers show up, more food is found. Some of it good, some of it partially good and some that needs to be thrown out. There appears to be no set menu planned, instead it is determined by what ingredients they are able to pull together.
The frantic pace in the kitchen is shown expertly in the illustrations and fun onomatopoeia. Glug glug, sizzle, chop chop, splash! And a countdown—which in the first read you have no idea what it is for—adds to the hurried pace..
When I found out why these folks have gathered to cook a meal, it was like an “ah ha” moment.
The art, as I mentioned above, is throwback to me. Reminding me of a similar style and technique of books I enjoyed as a child. I love the ink line work and the flat saturated colors. Some spreads are full with many overlapping vignettes, emphasizing the pace of the volunteers. Some spreads are one full illustration giving you sense of a job well done.
There seems to be an abundance of books about food and cooking and regional food traditions out right now. Everyone delightful and informative. Our Little Kitchen shines among them with it’s take on an afternoon in a sweet, tiny, and diverse community kitchen. I felt my heart get just a little bit warmer.