Sunday, October 6, 2013

Book Review - Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese (Anthology) Vol. 1: Comfort Food for Kids

By: Stacie Isabella Turk
Publisher: Ribbonhead
Publication Date: April 2013
ISBN: 978-057807128
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: October 7, 2013

Sabrina’s imagination held no bounds and was almost as expansive as her long, beautiful red hair. Well, not quite because nothing was quite like that hair. Sabrina smiled to herself as she imagined things like “jungles filled with pink penguins and purple polar bears.” Her mind swirled with all kinds of amazing things, including the fact that she wanted to be a teacher. Unfortunately, not all the things Sabrina thought about were happy thoughts. Mommy criticized her unkempt hair; Mrs. Grandview, her teacher, didn’t like her penmanship; and even those mean voices in her head were throwing negative thoughts her way. Sabrina was so preoccupied with that critical committee in her head she tumbled over her “long beautiful red hair” and fell to the sidewalk.

The negative voices and thoughts overwhelmed Sabrina and her “imagination took her to so many far away places that she would sometimes forget other important things.” Perhaps those voices and thoughts were right. Sabrina was just going to have to try harder and concentrate on things that mattered to those around her, including Mommy and Mrs. Grandview. That night she worked hard on her Show and Tell project. Sabrina smiled as those cotton balls were glued on to the paper and her project began to take shape, but something was wrong. A doubting voice began to nag at her and she had second thoughts about her project, about herself. Was Sabrina’s project any good at all? Was Mommy, Mrs. Grandview, and that committee right about her?

"Sabrina and Her Committee" is the first of three short stories in the Macaroni and Cheese: Comfort Food for Kids anthology that takes a close look at the self-esteem issues many children face. The two other stories, "Mediocrity" and "Grumpy, Grouchy and Grateful" encourage children to look beyond life’s little difficulties and have a positive outlook on life. It’s oftentimes easier for children, and adults for that matter, to see how another person’s negative stance and unrealistic expectations of themselves can impact their well-being. The accompanying CD has readings of all three stories and two lively, inspirational songs, each relative to themes surrounding self-esteem.

Forget the Rest (chorus):

Listen to your heart,
Listen to your soul, Listen to the voice inside
That never grows old
That tells you you’re the one
That tells you you’re the best
That’s the one that’s always right ... forget the rest!

The charm of Macaroni and Cheese: Comfort Food for Kids is inescapable and the lessons it imparts are priceless. Each tale has its own theme, yet many others can be found within these pages. In the back of the book are some suggested activities and questions children (and grown-ups) can ponder and discuss together. The book, combined with the CD, would make an excellent addition to any homeschool or classroom shelf. Of course, a little macaroni and cheese on the home front is the perfect recipe for a big smile!

Quill says: This is a perfect read and discuss book to use with any child who is having self-esteem issues or feeling a bit blue.

1 comment:

  1. Grumpy Cheese and easy going Mac are so much fun, this book is sure to be a favorite with young readers. The perfect rhymes and satisfying rhythm we've all come to associate with Sarah Weeks' early readers are inviting and fun and Jane Manning's pictures are simply wonderful. So happy to know that there is another Mac and Cheese adventure on the way!