Jo-Anne Elder reviews un monster dans ma cuisine
Un monstre dans ma cuisine/Recipe for A Monster
Marie-France Comeau and Isabelle Léger
Bouton d’Or Acadie
Sheree Fitch brought us giggly rhymes about the monkeys in her kitchen; now Marie-France Comeau shows us a monster in the kitchen that a young child learns to tame.
When a little boy gets up in the morning, his grandmother is baking bread. Set on the counter to rise, the dough gets bigger and stranger by the minute. The child’s worry turns to curiosity as Grandma Rosi teaches him how to mix and knead the dough. They play cards while they wait for it to rise and then bake.
Grandma Rosi is Rosi Jory, a colourful and lively writer and long-time German teacher—one of UNB Saint John’s first full-time faculty members—who died in 2017 and to whom Comeau dedicates the story.
With the added charm of puns and Isabelle Léger’s bright pictures of the flour-and-yeast monster that turns into a delicious loaf of bread, this book invites children to experiment with kitchen chemistry. The story connects baking to the old-fashioned pleasure of adults and children spending time together at home.
It seems particularly appropriate that this book will appear during the Covid-19 outbreak, when children may have joined in the bread-baking rituals with their parents or grandparents.
This book is intended for francophone children aged 4 to 8 or up to Grade 5 French Immersion. Of course, children of any age would have lots of fun if a teacher or parent baked bread with them. The book includes the recipe and pictures of the instructions.
Marie-France Comeau has written several delightful books including the much-loved Diego l’Escargotand À dos d’amourfor young children and Le Départ de Julie, a book for all ages about the Acadian Deportation.
Jo-Anne Elder has translated more than 20 works of poetry, theatre, film, fiction and non-fiction from French to English and has been shortlisted for a Governor General’s Literary Award for translation three times.