Some of the best books inspire you to go beyond an occasional reading. They offer images that linger; they create endearing stories that get embedded in your mind and heart. Rainbow Stew by Cathyrn Falwell is such a book. She beautifully portrays a grandfather who, on a rainy day, helps his three grandchildren tend his garden. They use the produce they pick to make a colorful vegetable soup (a “rainbow”)-“Peel, slice, chop, and dice, colors fill the pot. Stir in herbs and water and then wait till it gets hot” The rhyming text makes this a great read-aloud. When the cooking is done, grandfather and kids curl up with books while waiting to taste the meal they’ve created “Yum!”
Falwell writes that she made the book to share her love of gardening and cooking with children and their families. She recalls, “My dad didn’t teach me about gardening in a formal sense. He just let me do some of the fun stuff–plant seeds, help tie up the tomatoes, pull up the carrots. And I loved seeing things grow. Everything tasted better fresh, too”. Her book concludes with a recipe for making your own “rainbow stew”. Just pull up a chair and add your favorite little helper!
In fact, this book is packed with themes- colors, gardening, healthy eating, positive family relationships/grandparents, cooking, etc. There’s lots of possibilities for extension activities. Falwell has a bunch of fresh ideas for art projects, cooking and more on her Rainbow Stew website. Here is a cute flannelboard idea for sharing a related rainbow/vegetable themed story with your little ones.
Stay warm and savor this delicious book today.