Owl cooking school picture book
January 25, 2012 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Do you know a children's book about an owl teaching a class of animals, including a mouse, to cook?

My five-year-old can explain to me fairly clearly this picture book, which I have no memory of, nor does Grandma. It's possible one of us just read it awhile ago or that she heard it in preschool. (And she has a good memory, so it could be from summer camp or the previous preschool.) If Grandma or I got it, it would be from Seattle Public Library, but we've had no luck either searching the catalog ourselves or having the children's librarians there looking. It turns out there a lot of picture books about mice and schools. My daughter notes that the pictures of the book are black and white.

Here's her story:
"Once upon a time animals went to a school; it was a baking school. And then they sat and fiddled and got on top of their desks and stuff, like that. And then the mouse said, 'In your seats, the Master is coming!' And an owl came and told them what the recipes were. And they told him what recipes they wanted. And then they told him and went into the kitchen. And the dog was making footprints on the table. And the owl said, 'you must keep the kitchen utterly clean!' The end."
posted by Margalo Epps to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
No owl, but it has a chicken, plus a mouse, baking, and getting in trouble: The Little Red Hen

Basically, every time the hen asks who will help her, all the animals answer "not I!" But when the hen bakes a delicious cake they all want to help eat it. The hen is not amused.

(There are several books with versions of this story out there.)
posted by MsMolly at 2:42 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This Little Bunny Can Bake! I can't find any interior images to confirm the B/W art, but the description sounds spot on!
posted by Fui Non Sum at 3:10 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh derp, maybe if I had read the synopsis more closely, I would have seen that the book has "black, white and pink illustrations." There you go!
posted by Fui Non Sum at 3:11 PM on January 25, 2012

Best answer: Fui Non Sum, I think you may have it--but maybe OP's child can look at these images and confirm or deny?
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:52 PM on January 25, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks! Fui Non Sum -- I placed a hold on that book as soon as you posted, but I wasn't sure I could check it until the book came in at the library. MonkeyToes -- Li'l Epps confirmed this is the correct book.
posted by Margalo Epps at 4:49 PM on January 25, 2012


Fui Non Sum, can you share your search secret? That was well and quickly found.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:54 PM on January 25, 2012

Monkey Toes & anyone else interested: I used NoveList, which I am able to access through my public library's website. It's a database of books that librarians--or anyone, really--can use for reader's advisory. It lets you do all sorts of useful limiting in addition to entering search terms.

For example, I was able to limit my search to picture books for children ages 0-8. Then I used key words that, in combination, seemed like they'd be specific enough to narrow down the possibilities: animal, cook, school. I searched for those terms in "all text." I wasn't sure if this meant the full text of the book or the full text of the bibliographic record in NoveList's database (I suspect it's the latter). And boom! It was the first book on my list.

NoveList is great because it's huge and well-developed but intuitive and relatively easy to use. The books are consistently & accurately categorized and described, which doesn't happen on Amazon. It also includes way more material than you would find in just your local library's collection. Check your local or state public library or public university to see if you can access it! And thanks for asking; I was proud to have solved my first AskMefi mystery book and I love teaching other people about anything that will help them read more!
posted by Fui Non Sum at 6:26 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

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