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The Market Bowl

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  66 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Yoyo has listened to Mama Cecile s song about how to make ndole (bitterleaf stew) her entire life long enough to know how to make it herself, now that she is finally old enough. But slicing the bitterleaf, grinding the pumpkin, measuring out the shrimp it just takes too long. Yoyo is confident that her variation on the stew will be good enough.
As Mama Cecile and Yoyo set
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by Charlesbridge Publishing
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Pam P
Apr 03, 2013 Pam P rated it it was amazing
This book offers the opportunity to learn a little bit about Cameroon, including a few words in the language, while reading an entertaining tale! Beautiful, colorful illustrations bring the story to life. I loved the recipe at the end. The author actually lived in Cameroon and ate many bowls of bitterleaf stew!
Mar 02, 2013 Amitha rated it it was amazing
Blogged this review here.

Another great book from Jim Averbeck. The Market Bowl is about a little girl named Yoyo living in modern day Cameroon. Everyday, Yoyo and Mama Cécile make ndolé --bitterleaf stew--for the market. But when Yoyo demands an unfair price for the bowl of stew she hastily slopped together by herself, Brother Coin puts a curse on their market bowl. Having learned her lesson, Yoyo must then figure out away to trick the Great Spirit of the Market into blessing the bowl again.

Amy Ethen
The Market Bowl by Jim Averbeck

I feel like The Market Bowl is a meaningful selection for my culturally diverse set because of the way Averbeck uses a real African custom, the making of the Bitterleaf Stew. What makes the book a great selection also are the pictures. They are amazing and the African words that help tell the story. Then finally, I love the way it tells the story in a fairytale like manner.

Text Connection:
I’d like to use a text-to-text connection with this story. I actu
Dec 13, 2012 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Mama Cecile taught Yoyo to make bitterleaf stew, the same stew they sold at the market. But Yoyo thought that the entire process took too long, so she took some shortcuts herself. Then she snuck her batch of stew along with them to the market. Mama Cecile warned Yoyo that they must always accept a fair price for their stew, otherwise Brother Coin, the Great Spirit of the Market, would remove his blessing from their bowl. After selling all of Mama Cecile’s stew, there was still one customer left, ...more
Apr 16, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing
YoYo believes she is big enough to help sell at the market, but she doesn't take time and care as she prepares the stew they sell. When her mother warns her about keeping reverence and her manners in the market YoYo chooses to ignore her mother. Now that they have fallen on hard times due to YoYo's careless disregard she realizes it is her responsibility to make things right. YoYo bravely goes to the cave where Brother Coin lives and she uses creativity to solve her problem. This Junior Library ...more
Despite her mother's instructions about how to prepare bitterleaf stew, Yoyo thinks all those steps waste time. Despite the fact that the stew she prepares is less than delicious, she offends a customer when he offers to buy it at a reduced price at the Cameroon market. Her rudeness offens Brother Coin, the Great Spirit of the Market, and she must find a way to attone for her mistakes or else Yoyo and her mother will be unable to sell even the best-tasting stew. The acrylic and Photoshopped illu ...more
Jul 08, 2013 Christine rated it liked it
Young YoYo ignores her Mother's teaching for how to make the best Bitterleaf stew. She takes her poor rendition of her mother's stew to the market and offends the Great Spirit of the market, Brother Coin, when she refuses to take less for the stew. Young Yoyo must find a way to make the spirit happy or she and her mother will be cursed and won't sell any more stew at the market. Included at the end is a recipe for the stew that readers could replicate and try.
Marguarite Markley
Oct 28, 2013 Marguarite Markley rated it really liked it
When a little girl greedily refuses to accept a man's offer of ten-ten CFA for her stew, the market bowl loses the blessing of Brother Coin (the market god). What will little Yoyo do to get the blessing back so that her mother can sell her stew for money at the market again.

I really like the illustrations and the folk tale quality of this story. I will be telling teachers about this one!
Pamela Powell
Oct 22, 2015 Pamela Powell rated it really liked it
Yoyo learns to make Bitterleaf Stew from Mama Cecile in her home village in Cameroon. When she angers the Great Spirit of the Market, Brother Coin she has to make amends. Delightful story with a small look at life in this African country. Includes several French and Cameroon words as well as a recipe for Bitterleaf Stew.
Kathy Ellen Davis
Aug 21, 2013 Kathy Ellen Davis rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I thought this was a great book!
Loved the story of the girl and her mother,
and how the girl ends up getting the blessing back on the bowl.

Very cool that it ties into the author/illustrator's life too,
and the recipe on the back would be perfect to make along with reading the book.

Cool illustrations.
I like the mixed media effect of using papers and acrylics.
Apr 27, 2014 Krista rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, 2014
This is an African tale from the country of Cameroon. The story has beautiful illustrations and a pronunciation guide with definitions for some of the words.

In this traditional story a girl upsets the Great Spirit and loses the blessing on her market bowl. She must figure out how to get the blessing back. Recipe at the end for Bitterleaf Stew.
Holly Thompson
Apr 02, 2013 Holly Thompson rated it really liked it
I always love getting a little "taste" of African cultures and this book shares it. I just might try to make the bitter-leaf stew some day, and I definitely will be recommending this to two girls in my school are are from Cameroon.
Sep 20, 2015 Lindsey rated it really liked it
A folktale from Cameroon on how to lose and restore the favor of Brother Coin, an African god that brings luck at the market.
Good book to contribute to multicultural aspect of classroom library.
May 12, 2016 Romelle rated it it was amazing
An original tale of Cameroon, which includes an author's note about the Cameroon culture and geography. A recipe for bitterleaf stew is also included.
Apr 15, 2014 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: ed-250, multicultural
This book was a great multicultural book on how some families in other countries make a living and how some of their beliefs/traditions may differ from ours here in the U.S
This is a good story about patience and the importance of paying attention to detail. If I used it in a storytime, I'd use it with older children.
Crystal Walker
Apr 01, 2013 Crystal Walker rated it really liked it
A beautifully illustrated great story of a young fearless child who encounters humility and the process she takes to overcome it.
Mar 06, 2013 Jen rated it liked it
teaches a character lesson about doing your best and selling something for a fair price. includes non-English words.
Mar 15, 2013 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012-13
Cameroon folktale. Don't upset the market spirit. Recipe for bitterleaf stew, too.
A folktale from Cameroon where a young girl learns to be humble and fair. Brightly illustrated, this is a nice multi-cultural title. Glossary and recipe for bitterleaf stew included.
Edward Sullivan
Feb 21, 2013 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, africa
An entertaining tale set in contemporary Cameroon incorporating cultural and folk elements.
Adeline rated it really liked it
Apr 30, 2014
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Feb 23, 2013
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Oct 30, 2013
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Nov 29, 2013
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Apr 13, 2013
Leslie Fisher
Leslie Fisher rated it liked it
Nov 30, 2014
paula rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2012
Jennifer rated it liked it
Jun 01, 2017
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I was born and raised in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio, a beautiful city built, like Rome, on seven hills-wooded hills of oak, walnut, and maple where I and my childhood imagination ran wild.

I enjoy throwing myself into situations which give me an opportunity to explore and grow. I joined the Peace Corps in my late twenties and went to live in Cameroon in western Africa for almost four years. I
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