Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Garry Keeble's Kitchen by Errol Broome illustrated by Maya

Here is another one of those older books in my library that I have just re-read prior to culling our collection. This is a book I have been recommending to students for years and years and once again I must say it has stood the test of time (first published in 1992) but alas it is also out of print.

Garry Keeble’s Kitchen is the story of Garry who becomes so fed up with the situation at home particularly in relation to his mum’s new boyfriend that he decides to leave home in the hope that he can find some peace and better food.

Garry is a fabulous cook and so with suitcase in hand he heads for the park. Once there he meets Karen who hates cooking. Karen has a spare shed out the back of her home where her granddad once lived. Karen needs help as she is expected to cook for her family each night so she makes a deal with Garry. In exchange for cooking dinner he can stay, rent free, in her shed. The arrangement seems ideal especially since Karen even provides money to go shopping.

There are 28 real recipes in this book including main courses, snacks and yummy desserts. Garry has no paper and so the illustrator, Maya, cleverly presents each recipe on an interesting scrap of recycled paper. She uses everything from packaging labels to bus and tram tickets.

We have two copies of this book in our library but the one I have been reading is in very poor shape. It will need to be culled. I hope our other copy is able to be saved. If you love to eat and you have a spare hour or so look for this funny and poignant story of “how one boy left home and survived with 28 recipes that anyone can cook and everyone will eat.” This book was originally published by Random House and selected by Mark Macleod – he no longer has this role but Mark always managed to select terrific books. One last caution do not read this book if you are feeling hungry!

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