Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Friday, May 26, 2023

Chef Edna: Queen of Southern Cooking, Edna Lewis

Chef Edna: Queen of Southern Cooking, Edna Lewis
by Melvina Noel
illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2023

This gorgeous picture book biography traces the life of Edna Lewis from a child living in Freetown, Virginia to chef and restaurant owner in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Edna learned to cook and bake from her mother using fresh ingredients from their farm. After moving to New York City to earn money to support her siblings, Edna made an impression on friends and guests with her Southern style cooking. Soon she opened her own restaurant featuring her family recipes.

The stunning realistic-style illustrations capture the emotions of the story. This lovely story about a woman with a talent and a passion for cooking draws attention to a chef and restaurateur that many children will not know. Stories about little known people can be interesting and aspiring for young readers. The back matter is not to be missed because it includes Edna's biscuit recipe. 

Add this picture book to your classroom or library's biography collection. Pair it with Born Hungry or Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious for a program or lesson on cooking with fresh food.

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