Gloria’s Porridge: A Story from Ethiopia – Elizabeth Laird, illustrated by Toby Newsome


Gloria’s Porridge: A Story from Ethiopia – Elizabeth Laird, illustrated by Toby Newsome, Tiny Owl, (9781910328729), 2021

Format:  Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  When Gloria’s cat eats her porridge it sets off a chain reaction.  Gloria makes some porridge that she will not share with her cat. “I’m hungry and I’m going to eat it all myself.”  When she heads out to get some water to add to the sticky porridge, her cat decides to just take a taste.  But the cat eats the whole pot and Gloria returns to chase him off with a wooden spoon.  The cat runs out of the house and jumps on a napping donkey, who shakes a tree and disturbs the bees, which swarm and scare the hen into scattering all her corn.  A fox passes by and asks what all the fuss is about.  After they recount what happened the fox asks what they plan to do now.  The hen decides to pick up the corn, the bees go back to their honey, the donkey resumes its nap, the cat apologizes for eating the porridge and Gloria apologizes for being greedy and not sharing.  Gloria makes some more porridge, which she shares with the cat and they all take a nap as the fox goes on her way.  The story is a retelling on an Ethiopian folktale.  Readers will enjoy this cumulative story that is reminiscent of The Little Red Hen.  The illustrations complement the modern folktale. A good tale about sharing and learning to move on after something goes wrong.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  This would be a good choice for readers who enjoy folktales.  Readalikes include the classic The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone and The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates.

Who should buy this book?  Public Libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles?  No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:  7/9/2021         

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