Big Kid Book Club: Everybody Cooks Rice

As happens, our babies grow up. The first “generation” of Baby Toddler Book Club members no longer fit the identifier baby or toddler. And while Baby Toddler Book Club is still alive and well with our younger one-year old members (check back soon to see the fun we’ll have reading Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear), some of the “big kids” were missing book club (and truth be told, the grown ups didn’t want to relinquish our intentional gatherings with one another either). So, “Big Kid Book Club” was born. Regularly (although not necessarily monthly), the big kids are gathering with a parent for a book reading and themed pot-luck. To cater to our many school and work schedules, we’re meeting on a weekend and/or evening and rotating the meeting location among our families.

This month, we read Everybody Cooks Rice by Norah Dooley. In this story, a little girl visits many of her neighbors at dinner-time in search of her younger brother. She discovers that all of her neighbors (who identify with a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds), cook with rice. The books ends with the recipes for the dishes described in the book.

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After reading, we used a large globe to find the neighbors’ countries of origin.

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Of course, our themed dinner this month was rice. We had a delicious potluck including (but not limited to): butternut squash sushi, rice croquettes, Indian chickpea curry over rice, Vietnamese fried rice, and rice milk. Everything was so tasty (our members are the right people to invite to a pot-luck, apparently)! Our host even provided chopsticks so the kids could try to pick up rice like a character in the book.

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After dinner, the big kids played together in the basement while the parents (for the most part) were able to chat a bit–a lovely and surprising aspect of Big Kid Book Club. (Keep in mind, that there was at least one parent drifting in an out–these are 4 and 5 year olds after all!)

What I love best about the concept of Big Kid Book Club is that the kids are continuing to experience the excitement of reading and discussion with others in an age appropriate format. Check back soon to see what we read next!

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