To start, grab a random scrap of paper. Mine has a receipt on the other side. My heroine from I HATE BORSCH! is all circles.  

First, you draw one circle. When you draw a circle by hand, it can look kind of crooked. That’s OK. We are all a little crooked anyway.

Next, draw her glasses. If you’re not super courageous (and I’m not), you can use a stencil. Mine is broken, that’s why it’s still kind of complicated to do.

Erase extra lines on the glasses.

Next up— the hair! Imagine a cloud in the sky. A very stormy cloud. Draw it.

Color the hair. Try to be messy, at least in the beginning. The best black color is created with anything but black. I’m using all kinds of blue pencils.

The next step is her eyes, her nose, and her mouth.
Her eyes are shaped like leaves, and her pupils are small and suspicious looking
because she’s expecting to find some dill in her borsch.

Her nose is an upside-down question mark. Easy!
Her mouth and her brows are slightly shaky dashes.

Next up is her body. It is shaped like a bell.

I love drawing hands! In high school, I helped many of my classmates draw hands. If you are not like me, you can just hide her hands behind her back.

Take your time coloring her dress red.

And finally, the most important part:

The speech bubble!
Any shape will do as long as it fits a giant NO!

I Hate Borsch!

Yevgenia Nayberg
Ages 4-8

All Ukrainians are supposed to love borsch—but what if you hate the red stuff? A young girl despises Eastern Europe’s most beloved soup, and not even the grandmothers of Kiev can persuade her to change her mind. But when she immigrates to the United States, American food leaves her feeling empty. One day she discovers borsch recipes in an old suitcase. Maybe that disgusting beet soup deserves another chance… 

Imaginatively illustrated with splashes of borsch-bright red, this bookcaptures the complicated experience of rejecting and embracing one’s culture. A recipe and author’s note provide further ways to interact with the story. Witty and poignant, I Hate Borsch will encourage readers to ponder how history, heritage, and food can shape our identities.

Interview with Children’s Book Author and Illustrator Yevgenia Nayberg