31 Days of Amazing Kids' Books

31 Days: Blue Bowl Down

Blue Bowl Down

When Bethany saw this image on the computer screen, she immediately started jumping up and down. “Are we getting Blue Bowl Down from the library? That’s my favorite book!” She really couldn’t contain her excitement. We found this book at the end of last school year, and we’ve probably checked it out every other week since.

Written by C. M. Millen and illustrated by Holly Meade, Blue Bowl Down uses a singsong-y rhyme to share the steps involved in making bread. The setting is Appalachia around a hundred years ago. There is a stove, but it’s wood-heated. Water comes from a well, and the baby in the story sleeps in a loft-like room in the family’s home. Millen adds an historical note at the end, which shares that the procedure behind the bread-baking comes from her own family’s history of putting the ingredients and sourdough starter in a blue bowl at night, ready to be baked fresh in the morning.

Every page is easy to repeat and easy to predict. This is absolutely the sort of story that your pre-reading little one can memorize and “read” to himself. The pictures complement the story, with historically accurate details to spark good conversation. The pump at the well, the lantern for light, and the ladder up to the baby’s bed, were all things we talked about as a family while we were reading.

Today’s post was supposed to include a bread-baking story of our own, but things did not go as planned. We made some bread, but Mommy ignored the advice about splitting it into two loaf pans, and we had an overflow situation in the oven. No picture can do it justice. Bethany said, “I don’t think we stirred it down like they said to in the book.” (We did stir it down, but it didn’t make enough of a difference, apparently.)

Instead, tomorrow I’ll share a time-tested bread recipe that is a little less authentic to the story, but also less inclined to create a mess in your oven. Don’t worry – we have another awesome bread book to go with it!