Our Little Kitchen

Our Little Kitchen

Illustrated by: Tamaki, Jillian
Written by: Tamaki, Jillian
ages 4 to 8 / grades K to 3

A picture book about a lively evening in a community kitchen from Governor General’s Award–winning author and illustrator Jillian Tamaki.

Tie on your apron!
Roll up your sleeves!
Pans are out, oven is hot.
The kitchen’s all ready,
Where do we start?

In this lively, rousing picture book from Caldecott Honoree Jillian Tamaki, a crew of resourceful neighbours come together to prepare a meal for their community. With a garden full of produce, a joyfully chaotic kitchen and a friendly meal shared at the table, Our Little Kitchen is a celebration of full bellies and people looking out for one another.

Includes two recipes and an author’s note about the volunteering experience that inspired the book.

Key Text Features
illustrated recipes
author's note
speech bubbles

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.4
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.4
Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.

A picture book about a lively evening in a community kitchen from Governor General’s Award–winning author and illustrator Jillian Tamaki.

Tie on your apron!
Roll up your sleeves!
Pans are out, oven is hot.
The kitchen’s all ready,
Where do we start?

In this lively, rousing picture book from Caldecott Honoree Jillian Tamaki, a crew of resourceful neighbours come together to prepare a meal for their community. With a garden full of produce, a joyfully chaotic kitchen and a friendly meal shared at the table, Our Little Kitchen is a celebration of full bellies and people looking out for one another.

Includes two recipes and an author’s note about the volunteering experience that inspired the book.

Key Text Features
illustrated recipes
author's note
speech bubbles

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.4
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.4
Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Sep 1, 2020
Specifications 40 pages | 10 in x 8 in
Illustrated by

JILLIAN TAMAKI is a cartoonist and illustrator from Calgary, Alberta, who now lives in Toronto, Ontario. Her first picture book, They Say Blue, won the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, among many other accolades. She co-created the highly acclaimed graphic novels Skim and This One Summer with Mariko Tamaki, and she is the creator of the webcomic SuperMutant Magic Academy, and Boundless, a collection of short comics for adults. She has won many awards for her work, including a Caldecott Honor, a Printz Honor, the Eisner Award, the Doug Wright Award and the Ignatz Award. Her work has also been named to the list of New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books.

Written By

JILLIAN TAMAKI is a cartoonist and illustrator from Calgary, Alberta, who now lives in Toronto, Ontario. Her first picture book, They Say Blue, won the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, among many other accolades. She co-created the highly acclaimed graphic novels Skim and This One Summer with Mariko Tamaki, and she is the creator of the webcomic SuperMutant Magic Academy, and Boundless, a collection of short comics for adults. She has won many awards for her work, including a Caldecott Honor, a Printz Honor, the Eisner Award, the Doug Wright Award and the Ignatz Award. Her work has also been named to the list of New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books.

Audience ages 4 to 8 / grades K to 3
Reading Levels Guided Reading M
Fountas & Pinnel Text Level M
Key Text Features illustrated recipes; author's note; speech bubbles
Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.4
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.4
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.5

Winner, Eisner Award — Best Publication for Early Readers, 2021

Nominated, Governor General’s Literary Awards for Young People’s Literature — Illustrated Books, 2020

Short-listed, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, 2021

Commended, Washington Post Best Children’s Books, 2020

Commended, Globe 100 Favourite Books, 2020

Commended, New York Times Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2020

Commended, 49th Shelf Canadian Books of the Year, 2020

Commended, CBC Books Best Canadian Picture Books, 2020

[T]his color-saturated, mouthwatering whirlwind of a book bursts with energy from the moment its diverse group of characters starts chopping and slicing, whisking and whipping.

” —New York Times

[W]hat’s most striking is Tamaki’s gentle but empowering message about the need to be kind.

” —Globe and Mail

Our Little Kitchen is a celebration of full bellies and looking out for one another.

” —Book Riot

[A] lively, rousing picture book.

” —Canadian Children's Book Centre

Tamaki’s colors are bright and the energy from the book gives out so much happiness. … The book is about hope and love for each other.

” —International Examiner

Energetic, filled to the brim with compassion and ever-changing perspectives, this book needs to be in every school library and classroom.

” —Sal’s Fiction Addiction Blog

Our Little Kitchen shines.

” —Picture Book Builders Blog

[V]ibrant illustrations and fun text.

” —Buffalo News

Praise for Jillian Tamaki and Our Little Kitchen:


Winner Eisner Award — Best Publication for Early Readers, 2021

Nominee Governor General’s Literary Awards for Young People’s Literature — Illustrated Books, 2020

Winner Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, 2021

New York Times Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2020

Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2020

Publishers Weekly’s New and Noteworthy Kids’ and YA Books

OLA Best Bets 2020 

CTV Your Morning Fresh Fall Reads

Canadian Children’s Book Centre Staff Picks

Washington Post Best Children’s Books of 2020

Globe 100 Favourite Books of 2020

CBC Books Best Canadian Picture Books of 2020

49th Shelf Canadian Books of the Year, 2020

Horn Book Fanfare Best Books of the Year


“[T]his color-saturated, mouthwatering whirlwind of a book bursts with energy from the moment its diverse group of characters starts chopping and slicing, whisking and whipping.” — New York Times

“[W]hat’s most striking is Tamaki’s gentle but empowering message about the need to be kind.” — Globe and Mail

“[V]ibrant illustrations and fun text.” — Buffalo News

“By making the collaborative meal preparation visually brilliant, Tamaki injects energy into this life-giving celebration.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This color-saturated, mouthwatering whirlwind of a book by a Caldecott honoree activates all five senses.” — New York Times 

“Tamaki’s varied graphics and wildly characterful volunteers give this story breathless excitement and humour, making it wonderfully entertaining along with its message of generous community involvement.” — Toronto Star

Our Little Kitchen is a vital addition to all children’s collections for it addresses two timely issues of interest to Canadians, that of food waste/food insecurity and community aid measures. … Highly Recommended.” — Canadian Review of Materials

“There's so much life in Our Little Kitchen … In the dialogue of her characters, the liveliness of her rhyming text, or the bold colours and dynamism of her scenes, Jillian Tamaki lets young readers participate in the worthwhile endeavour of these food gatherings.” — CanLit for Little Canadians

“Every page sizzles and pops as Tamaki captures the kitchen’s hustle and bustle. … Our Little Kitchen is an inspiring call to action that will warm readers’ hearts and tummies.” — BookPage

Our Little Kitchen is a celebration of full bellies and looking out for one another.” — Book Riot

“[A] lively, rousing picture book.” — Canadian Children's Book Centre

“Warm and inviting.” — Canadian Children’s Book News

“A sense of effervescent improvisation pervades the tale, through its cookery details and the text’s rhythm and design.” — Horn Book

“[A] a vibrant picture book.” — Vancouver Writers Fest

“Tamaki’s colors are bright and the energy from the book gives out so much happiness. … The book is about hope and love for each other.” — International Examiner

“Energetic, filled to the brim with compassion and ever-changing perspectives, this book needs to be in every school library and classroom.” — Sal’s Fiction Addiction Blog

“… you’ve got one warmhearted book that delights the senses.” — Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast Blog

“Positive and kind, this is a community kitchen that everyone will want to join.” — Waking Brain Cells Blog

“The bouncy rhyming text and colorful, comic-inspired illustrations by Caldecott honoree Tamaki have a ton of kid appeal and an inspiring message.” — A Kids Book A Day Blog

“[A] deliciously uplifting, inspiring picture book.” — Books 4 Your Kids Blog

“[An] exuberant, soul-nourishing story.” — Jama’s Alphabet Soup Blog

“Positive and kind, this is a community kitchen that everyone will want to join.” — Waking Brain Cells Blog

“The homelike, slightly retro illustrations add fun and personality.” — Redeemed Reader Blog

“Our Little Kitchen shines.” — Picture Book Builders Blog


Praise for Jillian Tamaki and They Say Blue:

Winner Governor General’s Literary Award — Young People’s Literature — Illustrated Books, 2018

Winner Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Award, 2018

Finalist TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, 2019

New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2018

NPR’s 2018 Great Reads

CBC Books Best Canadian YA and Children’s Literature of 2018

 

“If They Say Blue is ‘about’ anything, it’s a peek into a child’s curious, questing, observant mind as she moves beyond received wisdom — what is it ‘they’ say again? — to thinking and feeling and yearning for herself.” — New York Times

“Thinking, imagining, noticing — these, Tamaki suggests, are the tools we have to understand our world.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Attuned to a child’s psychology and patterns of critical thinking, this visually stunning work is a must-purchase for libraries.” — School Library Journal, starred review

“With her first picture book, Jillian Tamaki displays a mastery of the form along with a sensitive understanding of the imaginative life of a small child.” — Quill & Quire, starred review

“Readers experience the colors and sensations of the world through the varying moods and observations of one little girl …. this is a reminder to slow down, savor the present, notice small details, and relish childlike wonder.” — Kirkus Reviews

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