Louise Lockhart is the illustrator behind The Printed Peanut. Her style is retro, lively, and joyful and she brings all those qualities to this super fun activity book.
It’s the kind of thing that would’ve kept me occupied for weeks as a kid and thus, it’s perfect for summertime.
There are prompts for writing, for drawing, for experimenting.
Spot the difference on grocery shelves! Cut out and play a food memory game (yesss)! Learn about the types of pasta and follow a spaghetti maze! Tell food-related jokes to your friends! Draw faces on vegetables! Bake easy no-yeast bread! Design a bento box!
It goes on and on like that!
Draw toppings on pizza, one for you and one for your mom.
Color in ice cream and popsicles and design your own perfect lolly.
Learn about breads eaten in different parts of the world.
Write poems about eats using descriptive details.
Think of foods that start with each letter in the alphabet.
Experiment with eggs.
See what I mean? Food fun to sustain hours of exploration and entertainment.
Big thanks to Cicada Books images!
I’m absolutely delighted to have artist, author, and educator Emily Neuburger on This Picture Book Life. She’s here to play with food!
Emily will take it from here:
When Danielle asked me to collaborate with her on a book review for this super fun book, it was an immediate yes, yes, yes! And, of course, I chose the project with the potatoes.
Oh, I love printing with vegetables. I really do. It is a perfect way to play with color and experiment with form and shape. Potato printing is one of my favorite kinds of vegetable printing. There is something so magical about turning a brown lump into a bright, colorful bit of art. I am always captivated by the way in which the print contains echoes of the original form, but with its own new, mysterious botanical shape.
What you need:
Small circular biscuit cutter (optional)
Paper (trimmed cardstock)
Leave some potatoes as is because you can print with the halved potatoes just as they are. In fact, this is one of my favorite kinds of vegetable printing! I love when my paper is filled with imperfect, textured, colorful, wonky potato rounds.
Find a tiny biscuit cutter, and press it into one of the potato halves. This will create a perfectly round circle. Use your knife to trim away the excess potato.
Use your Sharpie to draw shapes on the potato halves – diamonds, squares, and triangles were fun to experiment with! Once the lines are drawn, use the knife to cut out the shape. Be sure to carefully trim away the excess potato. This will leave nice, clean lines.
Mix-up some punchy, fun paint colors. I like to experiment with adding white and black to my chosen colors. This creates lots of different shades of the same hue.
Use the paintbrush to coat the potato with a thin layer of paint. Then, place the potato down on the paper, and press firmly and evenly. The wobbly lines and grainy texture is what that makes it interesting to look at, so don’t feel the need to be exact when you cut and press and print.
Experiment with pressing very firmly and also very lightly. Try coating the potato with lots of paint, and then make repetitive prints until the print disappears. This will create a series of ghost prints.
Make Potato Kebabs in Playing with Food because this is outrageously fun and satisfying!
Print on small squares of cardstock, and you will have a new stash of gorgeous, curious gift tags and note cards.
Print, print, print everywhere.
Box up your potatoes, and share them with a neighbor or friend.
Emily Neuburger is a writer, artist, and freelance art and creative writing teacher. She is passionate about encouraging people to get pumped about creativity, especially when it comes to the intersection of words and art. She is the author of Show Me a Story (Storey Publishing) and an upcoming creative journaling book for kids, titled Journal Sparks (Storey Publishing). She writes regularly about creativity and unexpected treasures on her website, as well as in print magazines and around the web. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children.