My Pop Pop and Me
PreS-K. An African American grandfather, Pop Pop, and his grandson transform baking a lemon cake into a magical mystery tour of sound and rhythm: “Sniff sniff the lemon whiff / Peel peel I love the lemon feel.” Warm, soft, stylized watercolors add a surreal element to the lively story, especially as fish-eye perspectives sweep the pages and boy and grandfather sometimes shrink down to measuring-cup size. The inevitable messes and cleanup of any kitchen project are faithfully recorded: “Blat blat goes the batter I splat / Swipe swipe the counter I wipe.” The inventive wordplay is quirky (“sizzle sizzle the butter frizzles”), but it somehow makes sense that sprinkled salt would twinkle or that whisks would twisk. The closing recipe for lemon cake is unfortunately missing the delicious-looking frosting and the layering instructions that would be required to replicate the cake pictured here. Nonetheless, this is an affectionate, energetic paean to a cross-generational dynamic duo.