A global survey of small-scale food production, with kids pitching in with the everyday chores.
Complemented by a large and varied array of photographs—great panoramic landscape shots, intimate foodstuff portraits, plus a generous array of genders, races, nationalities, and ages—Tate’s survey takes readers on a world tour of farming, particularly, though not exclusively, that undertaken by kids: “we’ll explore some of the many ways children help collect seeds, weed gardens, milk goats, herd ducks and more as they grow, harvest, prepare, and distribute food.” The writing is good-spirited, not preachy or condescending, so the swallowing of information does not feel like gagging. And there is enough practical material that nonfarm kids will be able to find fascinating: how come organic food costs more? How do you decipher a food label at the most elementary level? What is a seed bank? What is the importance of diversity and rare breeds? What is waste, and how did animals in the preindustrial days provide for us so much more than they do now ? Take the pig: skin made gloves and footballs, bones made buttons, bristles made hairbrushes, teeth were made into jewelry, fat and lard were made into soap, and all the pig got eaten, tail to snout.
Informative, varied, entertaining, eye-catching—there’s not much more you could ask of this unaffected piece of work. (Nonfiction. 8-12)