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Celebration of Family and Culture: OKRA STEW Review

Updated: Nov 13

I'm pleased to be a part of OKRA STEW by Natalie Daise and Macmillian Kids Publishing virtual book tour sponsored by Turn the Page Tours. This delightful celebration of family and culture was a wonderful read, with a tasty recipe in the back of the book. Find out more below!



OKRA STEW

Book OKRA STEW

TITLE: Okra Stew

AUTHOR: Natalie Daise

PUBLISHER: Macmillan Kids Publishing

RELEASE DATE: October 10, 2023

GENRES: Picture books, own voices

BUY LINKS:

https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250356666/okrastew


SYNOPSIS:

This rhythmic, joyous picture book from Natalie Daise, the co-star of the hit Nickelodeon show "Gullah Gullah Island," celebrates a special day of father-son cooking, and serves up a love letter to food, family, Gullah Geechee culture, and tradition—and includes the author's own recipe! For fans of Fry Bread, My Papi Has a Motorcycle, and Thank You, Omu!


Papa has something special planned for tonight’s family dinnerand Bobo can’t wait! Excited to learn how to make okra stew like his ancestors, Bobo helps Papa pick veggies from the garden, catch shrimp from the creek, rain down rice in the pot, simmer the stew, and even make a tasty side of cornbread. When the stew begins to bubble and pop, Bobo and his family gather around for a mouthwatering feast.

 

My Review:


"Okra Stew" by Natalie Daise is a delightful and heartwarming picture book that celebrates family, culture, and the joy of cooking together. Set in the rich backdrop of Gullah Geechee culture, this book offers a unique and charming story that is sure to captivate readers of all ages.


One of the standout features of "Okra Stew" is its lively illustrations. The vibrant and colorful artwork brings the story to life, making each page a visual feast for the eyes. The illustrations beautifully capture the essence of Gullah Geechee culture, from the lush greenery of the garden to the mouthwatering depiction of the okra stew itself. It's evident that a lot of care and attention to detail went into creating these illustrations, and they truly enhance the overall reading experience.


The portrayal of family bonding in the book is heartwarming and refreshing. In a world where traditional gender roles are often depicted in children's literature, "Okra Stew" breaks the mold by showing the father and son working together in the kitchen. This reversal of roles sends a positive and empowering message to young readers, encouraging them to embrace the idea that cooking is a skill for everyone to enjoy and share.


The central theme of the book revolves around cooking, particularly the making of okra stew. The description of the cooking process, from picking vegetables to catching shrimp and simmering the stew, is not only educational but also engaging. The inclusion of a recipe for okra stew at the back of the book is a delightful bonus, inviting readers to try their hand at making this delicious dish themselves. It's a fantastic way to connect with the story and the culture it celebrates.


Another noteworthy aspect of "Okra Stew" is the glossary at the end of the book. This glossary provides definitions for some of the Gullah Geechee language used throughout the story, helping readers gain a deeper understanding of the culture and its unique linguistic elements. It's a thoughtful addition that adds an educational dimension to the book, making it an excellent choice for classroom settings.


The rhythmic and joyful narrative, combined with the celebratory tone of the story, makes "Okra Stew" an engaging read-aloud book. It's a story that celebrates not only food and tradition but also the importance of spending quality time with loved ones.


In conclusion, "Okra Stew" is a delightful and culturally rich picture book that celebrates family, food, and tradition. Natalie Daise's storytelling and the captivating illustrations make this book a must-read for children and families alike. It encourages young readers to explore new cuisines, break away from traditional gender roles, and appreciate the diversity of cultures around the world. "Okra Stew" is a true gem that deserves a place on every bookshelf, and I can't wait to try the okra stew recipe myself!


 

About the Natalie Daise:


Author and her paintings
Natalie Daise

Let’s create together. Let’s create community. Let’s create dialogue. Let’s create art experiences. Let’s create our future.


I believe the most powerful thing in the world is an idea. And the most magical thing in the world is when that idea manifests into something we can engage with. That’s creativity. We can create almost anything: A pound cake. A garden. A community. Understanding. Books and art and music and…


We can turn ideas into reality. We just have to know how.


I am storyteller and an artist, a singer and an actor, and a lover of community. I am a committed optimist (it’s like my religion). I believe we are all creative and sometimes just need a little help manifesting it. I’m good at that. In addition to years of participating in the creative process and facilitating educational, creative and community building experiences, I also have an M.A. in Creativity Studies.


Let’s create something together.


Natalie uses creative process, storytelling, and art-making to support and stimulate active problem solving, build community, make connections embrace diversity, improve business and enhance the quality of life.


Find out more about Natalie by visiting nataliedaise.com.

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