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SEED, SOIL, SUN by Cris Peterson


Earth's Recipe for Food

by Cris Peterson, photographed by David R. Lundquist

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59078-713-7
Publisher: Boyds Mills

Peterson, a Wisconsin dairy farmer, adds another title to a barnful of agricultural nonfiction for kids. The unadorned narrative describes the effects of rain, sunshine and the teeming microorganisms in soil on germination and growth. “Part of the seed—the root—grows down into the soil. Another part of the seed—the shoot—reaches for the sun.” Earthworms get their due praise for “eating debris and discharging it as a rich natural fertilizer called castings.” Lundquist, a corporate photographer specializing in agricultural co-ops, supplies ample pictures that, while clear and colorful, sometimes look stock. In contrast, a spring cornfield looks muzzy, almost pointillist—out of sync with other photos. Corn—the staple of Midwest monoculture—supplies much of the verbal and pictorial fodder, and feedlot cows garner a couple of photo ops because they eat plants. A sturdy addition for its graceful language and cheery pictures, but its mind-set is more Big Ag than Michael Pollan. (further reading, sources) (Nonfiction. 5-8)