French Toast

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Buy This Book

French Toast

By Kari-Lynn Winters
Illustrated by François Thisdale
Picture Book Ages 4-7
ISBN: 978-1-77278-294-3 (HC) | 978-1-77278-294-3 (PB)
List Price: $14.95 CAD / $11.95 USD (PB)
Trim Size: 25.4 x 22.86 cm / 10 x 9 in
Pages: 32

First published in hardcover November 1, 2016
Paperback publication date: October 3, 2023

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

Rights Available: World ex. North America; World French

A celebration of culture, colour, and cuisine.

Phoebe—half Jamaican, half French-Canadian—hates her school nickname of “French Toast.” So she is mortified when, out on a walk with her Jamaican grandmother, she hears a classmate shout it out at her. To make things worse, Nan-Ma, who is blind, wants an explanation of the name. How can Phoebe describe the colour of her skin to someone who has never seen it? “Like tea, after you’ve added the milk,” she says. And her father? “Like warm banana bread.” And Nan-Ma herself? She is like maple syrup poured over…well…

In French Toast, Kari-Lynn Winters uses descriptions of favourite foods from both of Phoebe’s cultures to celebrate the varied skin tones of her family. François Thisdale’s imaginative illustrations fill the landscape with whimsy and mouthwatering delight as Phoebe realizes her own resilience and takes ownership of her nickname proudly.

Awards and Honours:
2018 Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award finalist
2017 Shining Willow Award finalist
School Library Journal blogger Elizabeth Bird’s “2016 Books with a Message” selection

★ “French Toast looks as delectable as its title, thanks to François Thisdale’s dreamlike illustrations: the landscapes seem to float in the background as giant loaves of banana bread and juicy peaches appear in the foreground.…Winters obviously knows how to write for children. In this effective picture book, she engages her readers’ imaginations – and their stomachs. She also doesn’t dwell on negativity, but spins the story into one of self-affirmation…Simply told and cleverly imagined, French Toast is a great starting point for talking to young children about race, diversity, and respect.”—Quill and Quire ★ Starred Review

“The illustrations are beautiful and the illustrator does beautiful portraits of his characters using digital media and acrylic….The author explains the concept of diversity in a positive life affirming way that children and adults will appreciate.”—Resource Links

“[A story about] the beauty in diversity and self-acceptance. With Thisdale’s beautifully decadent and dream-like illustrations of the food described, this may be a story best read before snack time.”—The Crimson Review of Children’s & YA Literature

“This book would make a great addition to a home or school library. It is an excellent way to introduce new cultures and to open the discussion of how to embrace who we are.”—Library of Clean Reads

French Toast is a delicious treat of a picture book that lets you explore a sophisticated topic in a way that is helpful and positive, but not simplistic.”—Getting Kids Reading

“This is a delightful picture book…that celebrates the joys of diversity.Winnipeg Free Press

French Toastfeeds the spirit and bakes up multiple servings of compassion and open-mindedness, helpings we should all scoop out enthusiastically.CanLit for LittleCanadians

“We rated this book: 4.5/5…This book is great for all ages and all colors.”—Kilian, Age 8, Kids’ BookBuzz

“When you are blind, you don’t see skin color and you truly know that everyone is the same. Phoebe doesn’t like it when kids from school call “Hey, French Toast!” or tease her for her accent. Her Nan-ma is blind and asks Phoebe to describe the colors of family and friends. Their talk helps Phoebe to look at things in a different light.”­—The International Educator

“This is a beautiful book…The illustrations are wonderful and the descriptions of the food are perfect…. It would be a good addition to a multi-cultural library. Kindergarten children will also enjoy the story read aloud to them. It will stimulate discussion on race.”—Youth Service Book Review

“The imaginative artwork blends traditional drawing and painting with digital imagery using collage, acrylic, watercolor, and computer manipulation.”—Omnilibros

“Use this book to talk about differences, similarities, and kindness.”—Imagination Soup