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Picture Book Review: The Market Bowl by Jim Averbeck

Another great book from Jim Averbeck. The Market Bowl is about a little girl named Yoyo living in modern day Cameroon. Everyday, Yoyo and Mama Cécile make ndolé –bitterleaf stew–for the market. But when Yoyo demands an unfair price for the bowl of stew she hastily slopped together by herself, Brother Coin puts a curse on their market bowl. Having learned her lesson, Yoyo must then figure out away to trick the Great Spirit of the Market into blessing the bowl again.

The Market Bowl book reads like a classic folktale, with every page feeling warm, familiar, and very engaging. Smatterings of foreign words throughout the text make the book fun to read out loud. I love Yoyo’s cute pigtails and her willful behavior. Preschooler Monkey (formerly known as Toddler Monkey) loves the song at the beginning describing how to make bitterleaf stew (“Mommy, can we make bitterleaf stew tomorrow?”) and has millions of questions about ever page. It also doesn’t hurt that Yoyo is Infant Monkey’s nickname :). And while Preschooler Monkey finds Brother Coin just a tiny bit scary, that actually only makes the book that much more alluring for her.

Definitely worth checking out, though I wouldn’t recommend reading it on an empty stomach…

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book directly from the publisher.

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