Ruby's Reunion Day Dinner

by Angela Dalton (Author) Jestenia Southerland (Illustrator)

Ruby's Reunion Day Dinner
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
On Here Wee Read's 2021 Ultimate List of Diverse Children's Books! 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.
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School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1--Once a year, Ruby and her sprawling Black family gather for their family reunion. Each auntie, uncle, and cousin prepares a special dinner dish--a signature item cooked and shared annually. Ruby is still too young; her chin barely makes it over the counter's edge. She's too little to use the mixer, to stir greens on the hot stove, to cut onions, or to mess with the grill. Ruby finds her contribution in the shade of the backyard, where her uncle G helps her with the hard part as she rolls lemons to loosen their juice before slicing. Delineating every detail, the story reveals Ruby's lemonade as the perfect accompaniment to all the other dishes offered at the crowded table. Digitally rendered art presents richly colored and painted scenes with expressive faces and contrasts of light emphasizing depth to landscapes. The traditions of this loving family are timeless and the scenes full of affection. VERDICT A suggested general purchase for all libraries, this is a holiday everyone can enjoy.--Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano I.S.D., TX

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
May 18, 2021
BISAC categories
JUV013030 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Multigenerational
JUV011010 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - African-American
JUV050000 - Juvenile Fiction | Cooking & Food
Library of Congress categories

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