Title: Empty Fridge
Author: Gaetan Doremus
Illustrator: Gaetan Doremus
Publisher: Wilkins Farago
Teacher’s Notes by Jaclyn Small: Notes for Teachers and Parents
Advance Information Sheet: Advance Information Sheet
Look inside the book: Empty Fridge
Themes: Food, Friendship, Community, Sharing, Neighbour, Neighbourhood, Inclusion, Generosity, Dreams, Recipes, Imagination, Business, Slowing Down, Cooking, Miracle, Scarcity, Abundance
Winner, 2010 Grauoilly Children’s Choice Prize (France)
I love Wilkins Farago, they’ve brought a number of brilliant overseas artists and authors to an Australian audience, without WF I’d never has heard of David Cali, or read the beautiful books of Serge Bloch.
And now we can add the work of Gaetan Doremus to the list of beautiful, intelligent, inspiring author/artists to the list with the book “Empty Fridge” which has been translated from French and recently added to Australian bookshelves.
When I saw this book on the shelf I had to grab it, a rustic cardboard hard cover full of bright colours and various levels of characters in a building, the cover screamed out to me and as I read through it for the first time I was amazed at how simple yet complex and beautiful this joyous book was.
Empty Fridge tells the tale of busy people who get the chance to slow down and share their lives (or at least their food) with each other. Everyone is busy, too busy infact to check to see what food they still have in their pantries or fridges, for example, Andrew opens his fridge and realises that all he has on him is a fresh bunch of carrots, not much at all to eat for one person’s dinner.
Andrew’s predicament leads him upstairs to see if his neighbours can help out, but as he soon finds out that Nabil, Lucy, Sandro, Julie, Lilia, Claire & Rose are all in a similar predicament, each with only a few items of food on hand, but what if they decided to mix ans share all their ingredients, what could they make together, would it feed everyone?
There’s a great scene in the book where Andrew looks out the window to see the entire world deciding to eat together, everyone sharing what they own, laughing and talking together and asking why they don’t do this every day. This scene alone begs us all to ask a similar question, what if… what would the world look like if…
Bright colours adorn the pages of the story, each floor of the house taking on a different colour, green, yellow, red, orange, white and each colour represented in their final recipe (wouldn’t you know what they end up cooking together?) invites us to see our own communities in a similar way, this is a food book with a difference, a recipe book with hope, a picture book with a simple story well told.
Of course, as this is an international release, noone seems to have vegemite and bread on hand…