Review Detail

Kids Fiction 122
Margot, Put the Kettle On
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Margot and her grandfather are waiting for Margot's mother to get home from working on a boat. They are thinking about the yummy dinner of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches they will make, and have all of the ingredients ready to go. The weather is bad, and as they are waiting for the mother to arrive, a boat comes to their island, and they offer to let the captain stay with them until the winds die down. Next, a merchant comes ashore and also stays. Margot really hopes that the next person to arrive will be her mother, but it is someone else. Margot is upset and worried, and when the wind slams the door open, the group assembled at dinner sees the mother's boat struggling in the distance. The three visiting sailors, as well as Margot and her grandfather, get on the largest boat and set out to rescue the mother. Working together, they manage to bring the mother's boat back safely, and there's just enough grilled cheese and tomato soup to warm everyone up after the visitors offer supplies that they have on their boats. They all recuperate from their adventure and wait for the storm to subside.

Good Points
Kleyn's digitally rendered illustrations feel a little bit like a collage, and the blues and browns nicely mimick the storm outside, with the inside of the house being a lighter, brighter teal. The facial expressions are very geometric but are still expressive; the grandfather has the best storybook beard I've seen in a while, and I appreciated that his eyebrows were in the correct place on his face and not on top of his hair, Cap'n Crunch style!

There is a recipe for grilled cheese sandwiches at the end of the book, using the secret ingredient many people swear by-- using mayonnaise on the outside of the bread instead of butter. Mine would still stick to the pan and burn!

This is a great book to show how people in communities can help each other, and would be right at home on the shelf beside Hey Wall: A Story of Art and Community, by Verde and Parra or De La Pena's The Last Stop on Market Street. It's also a fun story about cooking that is a great accompaniment to Saeed's Bilal Cooks Daal or Fullerton's Community Soup.
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