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Sunday, May 20, 2012

The World in Your Lunchbox, written by Claire Eamer and illustrated by Sa Boothroyd. Annick, 2012. $14.95 ages 9 and up

"Food doesn't have to be fancy to be interesting. Every kind of food, no matter how basic, has ties with exciting history, amazing science, and some very strange stories. One kind of food travels halfway around the world to reach you; another comes from just down the road...your favorite fruit could come from a desert in Africa, and your favorite vegetable from a mountainside in Peru."

Mission: Delectable is a worthy food tour through the seven days of the week. Each of those days helps readers make surprising discoveries about the food that they might find in their lunchbox on a regular basis. A whole lot of research has resulted in a readable, intriguing look at everyday foods. Questions are answered that I would never have thought to ask...and that is the beauty of this book!

The task is to keep a food diary for a week...taking note of all food eaten at lunchtime. Each food is then considered in terms of history, and science. Two or three of the foods consumed make the cut for information sharing. A checklist on the top of the page shows which food item has been described and the one that will follow. There is much to learn about the foods that many of us eat regularly, plus so much more. I would love to share those that captivated me and had me rereading certain pages, but the list is long and you would have no need to buy the book for yourself if I did that!

The format of the book, and the information contained within its pages, will inspire some readers to push further in the research to add to the already shared tidbits. As we search for books that interest our children in the food they are eating and inspire them to take a more active role in trying to eat 'right', this would be a great addition to any library. The added bonus is that each of us can learn a lot from the dedicated research done by Claire Eamer.

Great illustrations accompany the 'delectable tidbits' of information being shared. Never too texty, it is totally accessible to interested readers. Attractive, colorful illustrations will catch the reader's attention and the design is sure to appeal. There is humor here, and even some silly shenanigans. a number of jokes and puns pepper the pages, and will leave readers with funny bits to share with others.

The book ends with a list of top ten fun facts about food...surprising and informative. A list for further reading is supplied for anyone who might long to know more than what is included here, and there is a bibliography as well.

Lunch, anyone???  

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