The prolific Gibbons tackles fruits—how they grow, their parts, and what portions we eat.
Beginning with facts about perennial and annual fruits and how many servings children should aim for each day, the book then looks at how fruits can grow on plants, bushes, vines, and trees. Good vocabulary is introduced and defined along the way—botanist, pollination, cultivated. The middle of the book is taken up by individual looks at 13 different kinds of fruits that show cutaway views labeled with parts, the whole plant/bush/vine/tree, and some of the popular varieties—for grapes, golden muscat, red flame, and concord. This is followed by a discussion of growing seasons and climates, large farms versus backyard ones, harvesting fruit and getting it to market, and some other fruits that were not featured in the text, including star fruits, apricots, and persimmons. A final page lists more fruit facts and two websites (one for the United States, one for Canada) about food guidelines. The text sometimes gets lost in Gibbons’ busy and full pages, and while her illustrations are detailed and specific for each type of fruit, the watercolors won’t make mouths water.
This lacks the information of other nonfiction titles and the pizzazz of April Pulley Sayre’s Go, Go, Grapes! (2012), but it may be just the ticket before a school trip to a farm. (Informational picture book. 4-8)