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CORN by Gail Gibbons

CORN

By Gail Gibbons (Author) , Gail Gibbons (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2169-5
Publisher: Holiday House

Corn must be on preschool curricula, along with pumpkins, apples and harvest time: There’s no other reason for this book, an adequate but unspectacular volume covering the history of corn (Indians, both South American and North American, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving—the standard story), types of corn and the different ways corn is used and grown. Of particular interest are the spreads which contrast small farming with factory farming, from planting to harvesting. The primary text is characteristically simple, with insets providing more concentrated information, but said information is scattershot. An excellent sidebar explains how popcorn pops, but there is no satisfactory explanation of how exactly flint corn differs from dent corn and why each is suited to its specific uses. The whole reads like an encyclopedia article, without story or rhythm, and the illustrations don’t capitalize enough on what could be the cool parts—like combine machines, detasseling or ethanol (which is relegated to a teeny thumbnail at the end). Ho-hum. (Informational picture book. 5-8)