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WHO WANTS PIZZA? by Jan Thornhill


The Kids' Guide to the History, Science & Culture of Food

by Jan Thornhill

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-897349-96-0
Publisher: Maple Tree Press

Starting with a lonely slice of pizza pictured on the cover and the first page, Thornhill launches into a wide-ranging study of the history and culture of food—where it comes from, how to eat it and what our food industries are doing to the planet. It’s a lot to hang on that slice of pizza, but there are plenty of interesting tidbits here, from Clarence Birdseye’s experiments with frozen food to how mad cow disease causes the brain to turn spongy to industrial food production and global warming. Unfortunately, the volume is designed like a bad high-school yearbook. Most pages are laid out in text boxes, each containing a paragraph on a discrete topic, but with little in the way of an organizing theme to tie together the content of the page or spread. Too many colors, too much jumbled-together information and total reliance on snippets of information make this a book for young readers more interested in browsing than reading. Kids at the upper edge of the book's range would be better served by Richie Chevat's adaptation of Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma (2009). (Nonfiction. 8-12)