Review Blog

May 15 2017

The thank you dish by Trace Balla

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2017. ISBN 9781760292355
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Food, Gardens, Food production. When Grace sits down at the table to eat the meal her mother has prepared for her, she thanks all those involved in its making. She thanks Leo for lending her a ladder to pick the lemons, the road workers for laying the road on which she can ride her bike to the market stall, she thanks Suki for selling them the kale and corn, the kangaroos for not eating the carrots. A parade of people are thanked because they have in some way been responsible for her meal.
The story underlines our interdependence on other people, it shows how a small community can share its resources and produce, it promotes a grass roots attitude to growing our own produce and sharing it with others. For children it reveals how our lives are dependent on others, from family and friends to neighbours and workers, and will promote discussions abut how they can be involved. There are now many schools with vegetable gardens.
The quirky illustrations reveal a myriad of detail as the girl sits at her table thanking all those who had a hand in producing her meal. Nods to home grown produce are given on each page: a vegetable garden, fruit trees, local jams and relishes, a market stall are depicted with Grace and her mother able to reach each on their bikes, just like the author, Trace Balla.
This story oozes with love and family, with a friendly open community sharing and helping each other, something which many more people are aspiring to.
Fran Knight

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