After tributes to veggies (Rah, Rah, Radishes, 2011) and fruit (Go, Go, Grapes, 2012), Sayre delivers another peppery blend of upbeat, celebratory rhymes and photos taken at local grocery shops and farmers markets.
This time, the spotlight’s on seeds. After the initial, two-couplet overture (“Bravo, black beans! / Rah, rah, rice! / Seeds are meals. / They’re snacks. They spice!”), Sayre leads readers successively though arrays of legumes, nuts, grains and spices. The photographs show nuts and beans in decorative containers or juxtaposed in bins. Navy beans mingle near red ones, with a handful of runner beans scattered on top; almonds are shown in the shell and out, blanched, slivered and whole. The focus on real-life produce stands and markets yields many images of packaged and hand-labeled items: The grains section begins with a photo of bagged breads, pastas, and wheat and rye berries. While some of the pictured items won’t be readily identifiable by children, the combination of short, pithy verse and artfully displayed food provides an excellent aid for classroom or family learning. To that end, Sayre (a veteran of school visits) provides an afterword that answers questions about the science and nutrition of seeds, nut allergies, cultural connections through food, and more. Another cheery, useful overview of real food from a first-rate science writer. (Informational picture book. 4-8)