Ruby's Reunion Day Dinner
On Here Wee Read's 2021 Ultimate List of Diverse Children's Books!
Publisher Weekly Starred Review! "Warm digital art by Southerland makes excellent use of light and shadow, and offers a lovely portrait of an expressive family with varying hairstyles and body types. This hopeful, mouthwatering narrative showcases tender family rapport."
This joyful picture book taps into the rich African American tradition of family reunions, with delicious food at the heart of the celebration. Perfect for fans of the Caldecott Honor Book Going Down Home with Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons.
Once a year, each of Ruby’s relatives prepares a special dish to share at their family reunion. Daddy calls it their “signature dish”—and Ruby wants one of her own. She wanders through the bustling kitchen looking for inspiration. As she watches Pop-Pop’s chicken sizzling in the skillet, Uncle G slicing onions, and Auntie Billie cooking corn on the hot grill, she wonders if she’s just too young to have a signature dish. That’s when she finds it— the perfect solution!
Angela Dalton’s warm text is perfectly paired with Jestenia Southerland’s beautiful art in this sweet picture book, filled with the tenderness and warmth of this multigenerational extended family and the food they share.
This big-hearted picture book debut features Ruby, a Black girl affectionately nicknamed Lil' Bit, whose family gathers for a yearly reunion potluck. Everyone makes a signature dish for the soul food feast, and each relative in turn tells Ruby that she is too small to help. On the verge of giving up on the hot day, she spies a grove of backyard lemon trees and gets inspired. Through Ruby's narration, Dalton offers rich, mouth-watering descriptions of the food: "Peering over the counter, I see: Momma's gooey peach cobbler bubbling up the sides of her favorite baking dish, the golden, crispy crown of Daddy's perfect mac 'n' cheese." Warm digital art by Southerland makes excellent use of light and shadow, and offers a lovely portrait of an expressive family with varying hairstyles and body types. This hopeful, mouthwatering narrative showcases tender family rapport. Ages 4 8.