Hooray for Bread

Allan Ahlberg, illus. by Bruce Ingman. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6311-7
Ingman and Ahlberg (The Goldilocks Variations) team up again to celebrate a single loaf of bread, following it as it comes out of the oven and feeds the baker’s family, slice by slice. Ingman draws comfortable sepia-ink lines overlaid with freely stroked watercolor wash. The illustrations have a Gallic air: sunlight streams in through the windows, and the action often centers on the family’s cafe-ready, blue-checked tablecloth. Jaunty, sturdy lines of verse sound like favorite nursery rhymes and include delicious bits of nonsense. “The first slice was a crust, of course/ The baker ate it early/ He loved its crusty crunchiness/ And it made his hair all curly.” Verses alternate with large spreads of the baker’s family scattering scraps and crumbs to neighborhood dogs and ducks: “Hooray—quack, quack—for bread!” they cheer. Even the simplest foods we eat, Ahlberg’s tale points out, have stories attached to them—not just stories about their making, but stories about how they’re enjoyed as well. Destined to become stained with jelly and crumbs. Ages 3–5. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/2013
Release date: 04/23/2013
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