Guess what I got in the mail on friday! I went to my door step to find one big box of my new fabric collection (more on that later...) and a box full of the book that I illustrated just a few months ago! Talk about good mail days lately:)
I've mentioned French Kids Eat Everything before, and now it's finally time to introduce you to it. It will be your new best friend. Seriously. It's Karen's story of moving to her husband's native France, in a small town, and adapting (albeit unwillingly) to the culture of food in relation to parents teaching children how to eat. It's amazing. This is really aimed at parents and how to see family eating in an entirely new light. I got a copy of the manuscript for me to review, and I almost had to remind myself to stop reading and start drawing cause I loved it so much.
Here are some pics from the book that are my favorites.
It's such a charming and witty story Karen has: adapting and learning how to change her parenting based on all the good she sees in children there, and the way they think about food.
Things like no snacking (it spoils your appetite for the main meal!) No upsetting pressures to "eat all your food" at the dinner table. No bribing with food, and how to really enjoy a family meal...most nights of the week.
We've implemented most of the rules now for a while. The children are so much more aware of what they eat, how they eat and are so much more respectful of what they eat.
When the design team decided to put this inside illustration onto the back cover, I kinda freaked out. Only because this is exactly how I write things at home...my own list making handwriting. So it was a bit shocking to see my own "undesigned" handwriting on the back cover of a book. I don't know...kinda like seeing yourself on TV or something....it just feels weird :)
I hope you enjoy reading it. I'd love to know your thoughts! Karen has a blog, and is very passionate about giving information to parents on how to make changes in the American culture that we live in.
And did I mention that there are recipes in the back?
Um. Yes. There are recipes. Simple, flavorful, perfect for kids, meant to be savored recipes.
(But I have to insert an EDIT HERE: The book very strongly encourages healthy, whole food eating for families. And while this recipe is a dessert, most of the recipes and information in the book suggest that the French eat a wide variety of foods and focus on quality ingredients. This recipe has 3 ingredients: Fresh eggs, semi-sweet chocolate pieces and orange zest. While it's a treat, it's served in very small quantities and is meant to represent the idea that even deserts use whole food ingredients, rather than processed and overly sweet. I must add this disclaimer, as I'm not going to review the entire book for you, and don't want you to think that this is some kind of "eat what you want" book. Rather it's meant to encourage real cooking and whole, unprocessed foods in schools and at home.)
The book is full of experiences and information about feeding your children "real" ingredients, real food, and how children learn to appreciate food and ingredients. And I have a certain new favorite recipe now.
Kenneth is always coming up with amazing food around here, and I'm rather spoiled. Like, as I'm writing this, he just came down to the studio with a slice of a new bread he tried out: his own variation of the Amish Friendship bread. But honestly...sorry Ken. The Mousse au Chocolate recipe in the book that is honestly my favorite dessert now. Hands down.
The kids agree.
It takes maybe 10 minutes to make, so simple and outright sinful.
Anyways...I was so lucky to illustrate a book that I was completely in support of. I'd be writing about it even if I wasn't ask to illustrate it...just not this early...cause it comes out next week.
(And I need to say too, that I don't get a cent more if you buy it. I am just really happy to have come across this book!)
I'm just so grateful to have been part of this experience. I'm not always proud of things I do...I'm really critical of my work, and I take great thought into what I choose to spend my time on. So opening that box of printed pages on friday was a real treat. I really hope that this helps parents find new ways to have genuinely happy eating as a family.
Bon Appetite and Enjoy!!