Long before the natural-food movement gained popularity, before greenmarkets sprouted across the United States, Edna Lewis championed purity of ingredients, regional cuisine, and the importance of bringing food directly from the farm to the table. She was a chef when female chefs---let alone African American female chefs---were few and far between, and she received many awards for her work. With lyrical text and glorious watercolor illustrations, author/illustrator Robbin Gourley lovingly traces the childhood roots of Edna's appreciation for the bounties of nature. The story follows Edna from early spring through the growing season to a family dinner celebrating a successful harvest. Folk rhymes, sayings, and songs about food are sprinkled throughout the text, and five kid-friendly recipes and an author's note about Edna's life are included at the end.
"Gourley’s colloquial words evoke the rhythms of southern speech, while frequent rhymes, spoken in the multiple voices of family members, increase the folksy flavor. Watercolors in bright, juicy colors echo the story’s themes of abundance in lush scenes of the fresh fruits and vegetables, the well-stocked pantry, and the African American family working and then dining together." -- Booklist