A simple poem thanking the people who grow, transport, sell and prepare our food is transformed by Azarian’s bright woodcuts.
Upon a verdant, wood-bordered field sits the proverbial groaning board, replete with tablecloth and candles; seated around it are people of diverse ages, genders and ethnicities. This opening image effectively sets the stage with its pleasing composition, exciting patterns and exquisite details. Awkwardly laid out under this strong opening, spread-spanning illustration is the prosaic but certainly accessible-to-all introduction: “As we sit around this table / let’s give thanks as we are able / to all the folks we’ll never meet / who helped provide this food we eat.” The text is set along white borders of both single- and double-paged artwork. It’s essentially a secular grace chanted beneath furrowed fields, glistening seas and a harvest scene that includes a worker with an “Eat more kale” T-shirt. Old and young, men and women alike roll up their sleeves and get to work without regard to typical gender roles. Eggs, milk and honey are gently collected, sows eat, and cattle graze; in keeping with the reverential mood, only butchers are absent from the list of workers. One thoughtful sentence stands out: “Thank the ones who bought this food, / the ones who teach me gratitude.”
A warm celebration of both small farms and the idea that it takes a village to feed a child. (Picture book. 2-6)