Creamed Tuna Fish & Peas on Toast (2009) by Philip Christian Stead1.
This one is cute with a great refrain-kids will love to help you repeat it. Wild Man Jack does not like creamed tuna fish & peas on toast so all week long his sweet children ask him "What will you do if Mama Jane cooks creamed tuna fish and peas on toast?" and each time he responds with a new reply. What makes this book really dynamic is the cool layered illustration created by Stead. Click on the author for his funky website.
2. Food For Thought; The stories behind the things we eat (2009) by Ken Robbins.
This is a good resource book with detailed information about apples, oranges, corn, bananas, tomatoes, potatoes pomegranates, grapes and mushrooms. Each food covers at least 3-4 pages with everything from how to eat it, how it grows and its history. The information is interesting but seems scattered to me. About the banana he moves from where bananas grow (Southeast Asia, Africa, India, Central America) to what a Banana republic is (large plantation owner from developed country in charge of poorest pickers), to a discussion about bananas vs. plantains to the healthy benefits of bananas and then jumps to Carmen Miranda becoming Chiquita Banana advertising to slapstick comedy (slipping on a banana peel). While it was jumpy to me I think kids will enjoy the variety of topics and how fast moving it reads.
Our Corner Grocery Store (2009) by Joanne Schartz; illustrated by Laura Beingessner.
This sweet book tells the story of Anna Maria, who helps her grandparents at their store. Nonno Domenico and Nonna Rosa open the store promptly at eight and Anna Maria helps Nonno arrange the fruit and vegetables in the front wooden racks. It talks about pricing the produce, the layout of the store and the variety of items they stock. The lunchtime crowd shows the deli side, with everyone picking their favorite meats and cheeses. Both peaceful girl and I noticed how important to the grocery store is to the neighborhood and how they all help each other. This brought back memories of grocery stores of the past but also of city markets I shopped at in Chicago. I can see this book as a great tool for teachers in my school. Click here for an interview with author and illustrator froom Open Book Toronto.
Reading and writing about these three books has made me hungry. Time for lunch.
I hope you check out any of these books at your own library and explore with a child or your own child-like eyes!
2014 Best Books Lists
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