Engaging color photos depict smiling farmers and fishermen (and fisherwoman) and gleeful children eating their products.
The colors are intense, and the prolific photographer captures her subjects from all over the U.S. with big smiles, often in midbite. Adults are of different races and genders, but many are white males. The children are very diverse. The people who “grow, raise and catch” are grouped by product: vegetables, berries, citrus, and fruit; wheat, rice, potato, and corn; dairy, beef, chicken, and pig; and fish, shellfish, and lobster. The last pages mention family farms and urban gardens. Starting with black-and-white photos from the early 20th century, the book makes an Oz-like switch to full color. The text mentions the recent locavore trend of farmers markets and farm stands. Each double-page spread is laid out as a grid with several photos and a block or two of text (white letters on a dark-colored background). Simple, declarative sentences describe foods and people. Interesting facts are mentioned: “Corn always has an even number of rows.” Some may wish there could have been a distinction made among different lettuce varieties in the assertion that “even though it’s mostly made up of water, it’s very nutritious.” But that’s a small quibble. This will prove to be an attractive, useful book for food and nutrition units in the lower grades.
This volume may even lure children (and adults) back to the farm. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 5-7)