cover image The Bread Pet: A Sourdough Story

The Bread Pet: A Sourdough Story

Kate DePalma, illus. by Nelleke Verhoeff. Barefoot, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-646

When Cora’s uncle JB heads out west in his camper, he leaves her in charge of his goldfish Poquito and his gooey, fungi- and bacteria-filled Bread Pet, a sourdough starter—but forgets to tell her one important thing. As Cora feeds it, it grows: “It only took a couple of days for the Bread Pet to outgrow the biggest mixing bowl in the house. Mum suggested we move it to a bucket. Mama split it into two containers, and then four, and then eight.” With the help of her mothers, Cora finds a solution that feeds the Bread Pet and her community, too, while teaching neighbors what she’s learned. DePalma’s tale introduces doubling and measurement concepts, and lovingly depicts an interracial family. Verhoeff’s colorful, collage-like compositions layer textures with funny, surreal details, like the ever-growing Bread Pets’ swinging legs and smiling faces. Includes instructions for creating a sourdough starter and baking bread. Ages 4–9. [em](Aug.) [/em]