Looking for a fun gift for a youngster who is between four and seven years old? Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki is an excellent choice. She shares several recipes from vegetable soup to apple crumble. The text is full of life and the illustrations are spirited showing the enthusiasm of a small diverse group of people who cook a meal of love for the local community.

This book teaches all of us from young to old how we together can create a beautiful banquet for everyone in the neighborhood to share. Poetic verse takes the reader from our little kitchen which is a “tiny, small place” to the making of the “best sound in the world…Slllluuurrrppp!” The small group cooks yummy soup, delicious salad, and desert too. The servers ask, “Is your body warm? Is your belly full?” then after everyone has eaten the littlest helper yells, “Ok, time to clean up.” Everyone knows next Wednesday, another wonderful lip-smacking meal will be shared in the neighborhood. 

The drawings are amazing. Tamaki created beautiful, feisty brown, black, fair, and mixed folks working together in a frenzy to make sure the neighborhood people are fed and share a caring moment. Tamaki’s colors are bright and the energy from the book gives out so much happiness. Even people with little money can create a rich community. The book is about hope and love for each other. 

Jillian Tamaki is a Canadian American writer and illustrator. She is a feminist and has illustrated picture books, graphic novels, and short stories. Her work has been honored by The New York Times, The Caldecott Honor committee, and the Eisner Award group.    

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