The Big Cheese Family is the first in a projected new series of children’s books aimed at introducing young readers (and probably their parents too!) to “real cheese”.
Written in brief and simple verse, author & playwright Tony Jerris’ story is illustrated by Oliver Batin.
With characters like “Papa Parmesan” and his wife “Brie” and a glossary of cheeses and terms, the simple first story is that of a family who lives in a grocery with amply access to cheese to the ire of the shop owner McGrime. Unlike Remy the rat in Ratatouille, these mice have no qualms about stealing food for their cheese parties.
The book is geared towards 4-8 year olds. Batin’s illustrations are colorful, and at around 20 pages plus glossary, there’s plenty for young readers to look at.
The glossary could use some tweaking in future editions.
For example, two of the included cheeses are “Parmesan: A hard Italian aged cow’s milk cheese.” and “Reggiano: A hard granular cheese named after Parma, Italy.” When actually those are one and the same cheese: Parmigiano-Reggiano. “Parmesan” is simply the English name for it.
Cheese purists looking to teach would want to get these facts straight; regardless, the definition “Manchego: A sheep’s milk cheese from Spain” might not stick with a four year old. Hey- never too early to preach real cheese!
The Big Cheese Family is available in paperback or for Kindle from Amazon
In the works is the second in the series: The Big Cheese Family Plus Two! (Where Brie has her babies: Baby Swiss & Baby Blue).