by Kim Binczewski and Bethany Econopouly, illustrated by Hayelin Choi
Age Range: 5-10
Hardcover: $18.95, 40 pages, ISBN 978-0998436609
Pub Date: September 2018
or Purchase from your local bookstore! Find one carrying Bread Lab!
It’s a sleepy Saturday morning for most people, but not for Iris, who has to feed her many pets before Aunt Mary arrives. Iris likes to call Aunt Mary “Plant Mary” because she is a plant scientist.
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.
Kim Binczewski is the managing director of the Bread Lab at Washington State University in Mount Vernon, where her work includes field research, community outreach, and connecting farmers with bakers, chefs and businesses. She lives in Bellingham, Washington. This is her first picture book.
Bethany Econopouly has a PhD from Washington State University and an MS from Colorado State University, both in agricultural sciences. She previously worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle. She currently lives near Philadelphia. This is her first picture book.
Hayelin Choi made her illustration debut with Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious, which earned a starred review from School Library Journal. She was born and raised in Gwacheon, South Korea. She studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and is pursuing a graduate degree in graphic design at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, where she lives.
"Bread lovers are in for a treat!... This attractive book is a solid addition to an elementary library collection. Young bakers will enjoy learning about the science of bread making and will be eager to try the recipe included."
―School Library Journal
“Sensory details of sounds, smells and tastes throughout the story intrigue readers and the facts about bread are organically introduced… A fun way to introduce food science and bread making to young readers."
"Choi’s soft, warm cartoon illustrations add levity to Binczewski and Econopouly’s winsome, pun-filled text and help illuminate not only the steps involved but also some of the science; one memorable spread depicts greedy microbes burping as they chow down.... Curious culinarily inclined kiddos will want to take a bite out of this."
"This engaging picture book about the science and joy of making bread is named for Washington State University’s influential Bread Lab and co-written by its managing director, Kim Binczewski, and agricultural scientist Bethany Econopouly. Illustrated lovingly by Hayelin Choi, this book should inspire folks of all ages to explore the world of sourdough baking."
"This picture book captures the science and fun of breadmaking as Iris discovers the ingredients, process, and flavor of baking homemade bread."
―FoodTank: The Food Think Tank
"Bread Lab! will make you hungry for homemade bread! This is one book you knead in your children's collection."
―Amber Scott, Founding Executive Director, Food Literacy Center
"Best with a slice of butter with a warm loaf of fresh sourdough, this is a warm, well-leavened addition to any elementary library food collection."
―Craig Seasholes, Seattle school librarian, President, Washington Library Association
From School Library Journal:
“K-Gr 3-Bread lovers are in for a treat! Iris and her plant scientist aunt are going to spend the day making bread. Iris is eager to learn and journals every step of the activity. Aunt Mary makes learning fun and engaging as she shares her knowledge of the science behind bread making. She introduces Iris to Flora and explains that she is full of microbes that start the process. She also explains that their homemade bread would only need four ingredients, far less than the store-bought bread that Iris has always eaten. As Iris watches and learns, she notes that the microbes are like magic and Aunt Mary explains that it is ‘more like science.’ As their dough rests, Iris and Aunt Mary have a picnic in the park where Aunt Mary explains how her job as a plant scientist helps farmers grow food. At last they return home to bake their bread and share it with Iris's mom and dad.
“The Bread Bakers Guild of America partnered with the Bread Lab at Washington State University with the mission to educate kids about the benefits of making good food choices. The digitally rendered illustrations visually demonstrate what the characters are doing, thinking, and feeling. Bread facts follow the story along with a recipe for whole wheat sourdough bread.
“VERDICT: This attractive book is a solid addition to an elementary library collection. Young bakers will enjoy learning about the science of bread making and will be eager to try the recipe included.” — Annette Herbert, F.E. Smith Elementary School, Cortland, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.