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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

I Love Tomato Sauce by Nicky Sievert

Who loves tomato sauce? This whole family does but they all like different sorts, from the upside down bottle to the little tubs at the local fish and shop to their very own secret recipes.

I Love Tomato Sauce is a homage of sorts to that saucy red goodness that Kiwis love to add to their plates.

Author Nicky Sievert has written a hilarious tale about the tangy condiment that celebrates diversity and differences.

Each family member likes a particular way of storing or making their sauce – and one child even likes to eat it with cake. The story concludes with a family trip to the park where everyone is so caught up on bringing their favourite sauce, they forget the food.

The story not only dives into diversity, but Sievert has created wonderful diverse illustrations to accompany it. The family is intergenerational, with grandparents, aunties and cousins all part of the family. Kiwiana icons – of course there’s a tomato-shaped tomato sauce bottle included – litter the pages, and it’s also lovely to see a Māori family reflected back from the pages.

Sievert has also cleverly and seamlessly included New Zealand sign language into the book. Some of the characters use sign language in the book and Sievert has included a picture glossary in the back to show what they were saying. There’s also a link for readers to learn more about the language included.

Another nice addition at the back of the book is Auntie’s secret tomato sauce recipe. I can see this book as a fantastic resource for early childhood centres and schools – especially for those that have their own school gardens where they can grow their own tomatoes and test out the recipe.

I Love Tomato Sauce was an unexpected surprise. A story about a seemingly innocuous flavouring turned out to be a rich delight.

Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser

Duck Creek Press, RRP $19.99


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