Why this book?
This classic middle grade fantasy tale is what first taught me an appreciation of figurative language and lyricism in writing. It revolves around a young courtesan tasked to provide a definitive definition of delicious to resolve a court dispute. He asks many people throughout the land, which yields answers such as “a cold leg of chicken eaten in an orchard early in the morning in April when you have a friend to share it” or “a drink of cool water when you’re very, very thirsty.” At an early age, those descriptions made clear to me the power of making comparisons that evoke memory and mood. It also heavily influences my food and drink reviews to this day!
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Natalie Babbit's memorable first novel, The Search for Delicious, about a boy who nearly causes a civil war in the kingdom all because of his work on the royal dictionary.
Gaylen, the King's messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.