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Author’s Words

The kitchen can be truly considered as the pulse of the home.  It fills our senses … with visuals of the various shaped veggies, fruits, the colourful spices; it draws us with the lingering aroma of the ingredients being cooked or of freshly baked desserts and also by the various sounds – the sputtering, hissing and bubbling of stuff on the stove.

This book, Sugar, Spice and All Foods Nice, written by Medha S Rajadhyaksha and Katie Bagli, reveals how the hyperactive twins Tiffy-Tu and Simbo-Lin consider the kitchen as their playroom and are on a perpetual discovery ride of all that they find there.  ‘Does jaggery grow on a jaggery tree?’  ‘How do grasses turn into chapattis?’ Their doting Grandma is ever ready to satisfy their curious minds through her repertoire of fun stories – not about kings, queens and princesses but about the onions, carrots, potatoes, spices, pulses and many more, all in verse.

Through this book its young reader, without realising, learns about subjects such as chemistry, physics, botany in a delightful, playful manner.  Pure incidental learning.

Every vegetable, fruit or spice mentioned in this book has been illustrated by either of the authors to enlighten its young reader.  The fun facts are a bonus that add to the joy of what the kitchen has in store.

In the words of Anjali Kalani, Primary Montessori Guide, Houston Montessori Institute, the book Sugar, Spice and All Foods Nice may also inspire children to eat healthy, grow their own vegetables and cook too.

This book has been dedicated to our farmers – to all of those who till the soil, sow the seeds and grow the foods that reach our plates.  And it carries to its readers in a subtle manner, the message that all that we pick up from the food market or grocery store should not be taken for granted.

The authors Medha and Katie began writing and illustrating this book around March this year, just when the Covid pandemic raised its angry head, forcing people all over the world to stay under lockdown.  Very coincidentally, that has been the time when all family members, having no other option, began spending more time in the kitchen, experimenting and coming up with innovative meals.

The seed for this book was sown some time earlier when Medha’s eight-year-old grandson began appearing for the Balvaidayanik exams.  He would be faced with questions related to his immediate surroundings, including the kitchen.  Questions such as why do bubbles form when water boils?  How does a pressure cooker work?  That was when she decided, why not put together all that is connected with the kitchen in the form of a fun book for children.

The authors do hope that the book achieves its goal in reaching out to many children, young and old, and brings to them the sheer joy of all that the kitchen holds.