Review | Monday 30 July 2012
It’s been a busy day, you haven’t even thought of dinner, and when you look in the fridge it’s empty. What to do? How about visiting the neighbours to see if together you might have enough food to make a meal? That is the simple premise of this delightful picture book set in a busy five-storey apartment block.
Each household is drawn with intimate detail, from the homeless man with his shopping trolley at the bottom of the stairs through the bike-mad bachelor and the busy family. Each of the neighbours is given a different colour representing the food they contribute, and as they climb the stairs the colours amass.
In the top-floor apartment, Rose gets a brainwave to make a quiche. Everyone works together to cook their communal meal and when they take it outside, they discover that the whole neighbourhood has gathered to eat together, with music, merriment and laughter.
This beautiful evocation of modern living and the pleasures of sharing by French author and illustrator Gaetan Doremus was first published in France and won a prominent kids’ choice award there in 2010. It has been lovingly translated and published in English so that now everyone from three-year-olds to adults can enjoy its delectable delights!
Angela Crocombe is the Children’s Book Buyer at Readings St Kilda, mother to a three year-old, and the author of two books on sustainable living, A Lighter Footprint: A Practical Guide to Minimising your Impact on the Planet and Ethical Eating.*