Author: Tara Dairman
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Number of Pages: 272
Published: September 12th, 2017
"In the kitchen, the aroma of the roast mingled with scents of honey baked root vegetables, garlicky mustard greens, buckwheat biscuits, and the condiment that graced every table in St. Polonius, sweet thistleberry relish."
I also love how Dairman's books are so wonderfully diverse not only with the foods she includes but also with her characters like Isra, a Thai boy who is put in charge of making all the meals for the children at his families Thai restaurant. Isra is very focused on making his parents proud and having the business flourish. He also illustrates the challenges of coming to a new country and being accepted into the community. And Isra also cooks these mouthwatering sounding Thai foods, mmm. There's even a recipe for Rice Paper Rolls with Pork at the beginning of one of the chapters. Just love it. The Great Hibernation is also an exploration of traditions, a right of passage that only happens when you get to a certain age with a particularly amusing result. In this case, all the teens and their parents fall fast asleep and the younger children take charge performing their parent's job responsibilities. Jean's best friend takes over her mother's beauty parlor cutting hair and one little girl is put in charge as the court-appointed lawyer and I just love when she suggests her client take a "please" bargain, so cute. Even eight-year-old Alex, who drives his dad's snowplow made me chuckle as I was trying to picture his little feet trying to reach the peddles to make it run. Then there's Magnus, who took his role as the son of the mayor overly serious and although he says he's following the charter as it's written, he also bends the rules the way that he wants. He's pretty bossy and his sidekick police enforcers aren't any better pushing around the younger kids and locking up others to hide what's going on. I was just waiting for them to get what was coming to them. The Great Hibernation is part mystery, part exploration of the advancement of science and how building a thistleberry plant would impact everyone in town, glorious food, and Jean who with the help of her friends set's out to save their parents.