Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Non-Fiction Books Take Us Traveling

Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  I always learn from these books, am happy that they are more and more available today for children, for everyone!

      It's a travel book, no, it's a cookbook, it's a poetry book. Well, it's actually all those things "melted" into one lovely book that makes mouths water and educates all at the same time. Breakfast starts everyone's day and Alice McGinty has written (cooked up?) a multi-cultural feast of what children eat in the morning all over the world. Ending with the USA and, maybe, pancakes but not always, she journeys around the world starting with Australia and the much-loved there, not so much here, vegemite spread on toast. From China, a dish I'm not sure I knew the name of, Ci fan tuan, but I've had at restaurants comes big balls of sticky rice loaded with pork and pickled vegetables.  Yum! Then, we're traveling on to The Netherlands to eat toast with chocolate sprinkles. While it's different in each country, children manage to have a good bit of food to get them ready for school! 
       Alice has written snappy, appetizing rhymes to introduce the food, then added a brief paragraph of the name, how to pronounce it, and what it is. "Breakfast in Jamaica/is yellow like the sun./Cornmeal porridge, thick and sweet,/Come and get it, everyone." Sometimes extra information is added, like in Japan children wear yellow caps so they can be easily seen by drivers on the streets. And she explains 'rashers' and 'bangers', and what 'soldiers' are for breakfast in the UK. 
        Tomoko Suzuki's double-page filled-to-the-brim graphic pages add to the joy of breakfast starting the day. There is food, of course, but also background geography of gardens and cities, and the people, too, eating together. Here's a glimpse from Brazil! 

         Added is a double-page map of the world that shows each dish and the location of its country of origin. It would be delicious fun to research more countries and create some of these dishes in a classroom. For older kids, to ask the question of "why?" these dishes have become native to the country would be fun, too. One year, my class visited different cultural supermarkets here, sampled some foods, bought others to cook back at school. It was a marvelous experience.
         Thanks, Alice and Tomoko for a wonderful book.


  1. Thanks for the tasty review, Linda. This book led me to try some of those Dutch sprinkles and get some paratha from our local Indian restaurant. It's a fun book with interesting information. Will post my review in a couple of weeks. :)

    1. Thanks, Jama. It is a book that lures us to try some of those foods that I didn't know. I would love to have had it in my class, experiment with all kinds of foods. I'll look forward to your review, am sure you'll have some tasty things to share.

  2. There was so much in this book, right? I was glad our local library had a copy, I think it will be enjoyed by young readers.

    1. Yes, a lot of information! It will be great for a read aloud! Thanks, Michele!


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