Saturday, May 17, 2014

Picture Book Review: Hooray for Bread by Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman (2013)

The story of a loaf of bread is told slice by slice and crumb by crumb in this well-written rhyming picture book. Bruce Ingman’s pictures use an interesting color palette, wherein some parts of each image are pink, red, and white, and others are drawn in full color. The colors give the book an overall cheerful look, which matches its celebratory tone, and the cartoonish figures look a bit like a child’s own illustrations.

My favorite page in the whole book is when the baker’s wife and the baby visit the duck pond and throw breadcrumbs to the ducks. Ingman perfectly captures the frenzied movements of the ducks as they paddle excitedly toward the bread crumbs, and the paint strokes he uses to convey the rippling water are perfect. I also love the illustration of the interior of the entire house at night, showing every member of the family in his or her bed.

If your family, like mine, bakes its own bread, this book will be a natural choice for sharing as a read-aloud. The story will also appeal to fans of Ahlberg’s other books, written both on his own and with his wife, and those who like Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Little Pea, Spoon, and Chopsticks.

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