A Family of Spices is an important book for children in today's world where intolerance, hate crimes, and racism are on the rise. For a better future, it is necessary to educate our children about multiculturalism and tolerance as early as possible. It is here that this book can play a significant role.
The author introduces the idea of a family as a melting pot of different cultures by using the example of baking a honeycake. Just like the cake requires the right mix of various ingredients, a family is also made up of various people with different backgrounds.
I've read another picture book (Count Your Blessings) by this author and in comparison, I feel the illustrations are not as catchy. They need to be bigger and the border is unnecessary--it reduces the attractiveness of the picture. I'm of the opinion that the illustrations can be better, the colors brighter--filling the whole page.
The pages also look busy because there's quite a lot of text, but perhaps it's unavoidable since the concept of multiculturalism may not be explained in fewer words. I'm not sure if the author is describing a real-life family, but I think the story could be made simpler. There are so many countries and cultures described, it's somewhat confusing.
All said and done, I think we really need more books like this that show how families need not be homogenous and that there are many different types of people in the world. The more children see such things in books and media, the more easily they will come to accept diversity.
Of course, who doesn't enjoy reading a cake recipe at the end? I've got to try out those honeycakes!
My reviews are for readers. I attempt to write balanced reviews to help people decide if they'd like to pick up the book. I also post reviews to Amazon India, Goodreads, and my blog: www.satabdimukherjee.wordpress.com.