Today Aunt Mary wants to experiment with making whole wheat sourdough bread from scratch! As the family kitchen transforms into a bread lab, Iris is surprised that bread needs only four ingredients―flour, water, salt and starter. She also learns about the invisible microbes that make the dough rise, and how flour comes from wheat grown by farmers. It all seems magical, but it’s really science.
Kim Binczewski and Bethany Econopouly, plant researchers at The Bread Lab at Washington State University, Mount Vernon, make their picture-book debut with this mouth-watering story that captures the step-by-step process and delicious aromas, sensations, sights and sounds of bread-making. The playful art of Hayelin Choi, illustrator of Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious, crackle and pop with fun, to inspire new bakers and young scientists alike!
Published in Cooperation with The Bread Lab at Washington State University, Mount Vernon. Sponsored by the Bread Bakers Guild of America.
What I loved: The book does a great job of presenting the steps to making bread within a larger fictional story to capture young readers' attention. Aunt Mary also explains the steps along the way, giving a great nod to science and experiments as well. I also really appreciated that Iris is mixed race, and her family is pictured in the book. The illustrations have bright colors that add to the appeal. The recipe at the end is very helpful if the book inspires young readers to create their own bread lab.
What left me wanting more: As a small thing, the text is lengthy and a little small, making it difficult to read aloud, especially in a classroom setting. It would be better for slightly older picture book readers/elementary school aged children due to the length.
Final verdict: BREAD LAB! is a fun picture book about how to make bread with a cute family story in the background. If you have ever wondered about how bread is made, this book is a great place to start.