a little taste of Spring is for Strawberries by Katherine Pryor and Polina Gortman

Happy National Strawberry Month!

What better way to celebrate the merry month of May than with fresh strawberries? April through June is peak picking season for these sweet delectable beauties, and there’s no better place to score a couple of quarts than your local farmers market.

As we learn in Spring is for Strawberries by Katherine Pryor and Polina Gortman (Schiffer Kids, 2023), the farmers market is much more than a place to buy and sell local seasonal produce. Unlike shopping in a big grocery store, farmers markets offer us a chance to get up close and personal with those who actually grow our food. As we return to our favorite vendors week after week (or year after year), sometimes casual pleasantries can blossom into meaningful friendships.

In this delightful story, two girls — one, a farmer’s daughter whose family has brought their spring crop to the market, and the other, a city child whose family shops there, become friends and continue to celebrate each season’s bounty throughout the year.

Beginning with spring’s strawberries (“staining lips heart red”), they enjoy sugar peas, “juicy lettuce, crispy kale” and “bouquets of sweet young spinach.” Summer brings the sweetness of dripping fruit like nectarines, peaches, and plums (they “slurp them down, one by one.”) What about peppers, melons, corn on the cob, and “a rainbow of tomatoes”? Yum!

As the cool winds of fall arrive, it’s time for the crunch of apples, “sampling squashes in galoshes, picking pounds of pumpkins,” and a big Thanksgiving feast.

The girls and their families hug goodbye when the market closes for the winter. Though this is the season of waiting, wondering, and watching snowflakes fall . . . they can also look forward to “that first red fruit when springtime blooms again,” signaling their reunion when they can share another year of deliciousness.

Gortman has created a heartwarming visual narrative that beautifully extends Pryor’s spare, lyrical text. Her pictures show the farm family planting in the spring, the two girls meeting at the farmers market (farm girl is white, city girl is biracial), the girls wandering from stall to stall, the two families on a summer day in the city and then picking peaches together.

As fall turns to winter, there are different offerings at the market, pumpkins to roll, Christmas wreaths to buy. Of course I love the mouthwatering pictures of all the different fruits and veggies; every page turn is a feast in itself, flavored with interesting details, enhanced by seasonal colors.

Spring is for Strawberries celebrates the joy of good, wholesome food, and is the perfect springboard for discussing the rewards of eating seasonally and supporting local farmers.

It’s important for kids to know where their food comes from. Perhaps they’ll take an interest in a home garden, which brings with it the fun of picking which fruits and/or veggies to include, learning more about the care and feeding of their plants, and best of all, taking pride in what they have grown. As we see in this appealing story, food brings people together. Eat a strawberry, make a new friend. 🍓


written by Katherine Pryor
illustrated by Polina Gortman
published by Schiffer Kids, March 2023
Picture book for ages 4-8, 32 pp.
*Includes an author’s note discussing the benefits of supporting small farms and eating seasonally

Help yourself!

*Interior spreads text copyright © 2023 Katherine Pryor, illustrations © 2023 Polina Gortman, published by Schiffer Kids. All rights reserved.

**Copyright © 2023 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

10 thoughts on “a little taste of Spring is for Strawberries by Katherine Pryor and Polina Gortman

  1. This is just what the farmer ordered. We have just planted our little garden in the city. We have tomatoes red and yellow, my favorite. We also have cucumbers and eggplants! I love the whole idea if this book. Farmers’ Markets are the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to hear you have your own city garden, Joanne. Wish we could do the same — but not enough sunlight on our wooded lot + wild animals.


  2. This looks like a happy story, Jama, a new one to me! Our Markets are opening all over the city and I have a favorite that has garden delights and food trucks, craft booths, etc. Can’t wait! Have some strawberry shortcake soon! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This looks like such a sweet book! I like how it goes through several seasons and covers the different produce that is grown and sold during the season. I will have to check this out for my clasroom!

    Liked by 1 person

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