Come and Eat!

Overview

We all need to eat in order to live, but not everyone goes about eating a meal the same way. Simple text and fun photographs answer the questions: who, when, how, what, where, and why we eat, introducing readers to a feast of food traditions from around the world.
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Overview

We all need to eat in order to live, but not everyone goes about eating a meal the same way. Simple text and fun photographs answer the questions: who, when, how, what, where, and why we eat, introducing readers to a feast of food traditions from around the world.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Award-winning author/photographer George Ancona opens this "dining adventure" by noting that though people eat to live, the act of eating also offers "an opportunity for us to come together to share food and friendship." So much more than a treatise on healthy eating, this book celebrates the cuisine and eating habits of many cultures. Readers learn about Nigerian fufu, Tibetan dumplings, Polynesian luaus and American birthday cakes as well as Western knives and forks and Asian chopsticks. The photographs of people munching ears of yellow corn, Mexican tortillas and campfire marshmallows are so warm and inviting that one longs to step into the frame for a bite. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—In this photo essay, Ancona takes readers on a culinary trip around the world. Different eating habits, celebrations, and foods are discussed. For example, people in India use two fingers and a thumb to eat. In Japan, long noodles are sucked up and swallowed. Tibetans eat meat dumplings known as momos. Muslim men and boys usually eat together on one rug, while women and girls dine on another. For Mexicans, "a tortilla can serve as a plate, a spoon, and even a napkin." The informational text is complemented by large, colorful photographs of people partaking of their meals and sharing festive celebrations. Pair this title with Patricia Lauber's What You Never Knew About Fingers, Forks, & Chopsticks (S & S, 1999), which looks at the development of eating implements from the Stone Age to current times. Come and Eat! is a worthy addition to most collections.—Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Ancona reminds us of our hunger from birth as he takes us on a tour of some of the ways and the places people eat. Here in the United States we eat lunch and dinner or supper, learning "the ways of our family and our culture." While we eat with knives, forks, and spoons, some people use chopsticks; others use their fingers. In Nigeria, for example, people wash their hands before scooping up a ball of fufu to pick up the meat, vegetables and sauce; in Mexico the tortilla can be plate, spoon, or napkin. Examples of gatherings to eat include Chinese families, Muslim friends, Polynesian luaus, and campfires. Other special occasions are birthday parties, Sweden's St. Lucia's Day, and the Hispanic Las Posadas. "Eating together becomes a ceremony of life." Ancona's sharply focused color photographs make it easy for the reader to identify the various foods and consumers. He also appeals to his audience by including children in all the scenes from a bonfire for toasting marshmallows and a Tibetan embroidered cloth spread with plates of food to a young Japanese boy slurping up long noodles. The visuals clearly illustrate in squares or circles on white pages the action of each scene. The ultra-neatness may serve as a hint for readers. The author's note adds personal background. The varied filled plates spread across the end pages will surely make all readers hungry. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—In this photo essay, Ancona takes readers on a culinary trip around the world. Different eating habits, celebrations, and foods are discussed. For example, people in India use two fingers and a thumb to eat. In Japan, long noodles are sucked up and swallowed. Tibetans eat meat dumplings known as momos. Muslim men and boys usually eat together on one rug, while women and girls dine on another. For Mexicans, "a tortilla can serve as a plate, a spoon, and even a napkin." The informational text is complemented by large, colorful photographs of people partaking of their meals and sharing festive celebrations. Pair this title with Patricia Lauber's What You Never Knew About Fingers, Forks, & Chopsticks (S & S, 1999), which looks at the development of eating implements from the Stone Age to current times. Come and Eat! is a worthy addition to most collections.—Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews

Ancona explores the universal activity of eating, but the accomplished master of the photo essay doesn't add enough spice to this pot.

Starting with an image of a nursing baby (but excluding a bottle-fed infant), photos of children and adults from different cultures are enclosed in circles and rectangles on white backgrounds. The clear photos highlight meal times, utensils, types of food and special celebrations, such as Hanukkah with its potato pancakes and St. Lucia's Day with its saffron buns. Some double-page spreads feature large photos of people enjoying a meal with a corresponding detail of the foods. The most attractive one shows Nigerians dippingfufu, ground cassava root, into various meats and vegetables. Mealtime prayer is shown in photos of an interracial family saying grace and a Tibetan family praying before digging into their meat dumplings,momos. AMuslim gathering and a Polynesian luau depict examples of sharing and hospitality. The simple, straightforward text largely describes the photos, but there is no mention of how people get their food or the difficulty of getting enough to eat for some children and families. A few recipes would complement the attractive end papers with their checkerboard of food images.

A solid repast for the primary-school curriculum but not zesty enough for many tastes. (author's note)(Informational picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580893671
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2011
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD870L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

George Ancona is an author and photographer. His photographs have appeared in many children's books, including JOIN HANDS, THE PINATA MAKER/EL PINATERO, and OLE FLAMENCO!, the last two of which he wrote. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    This lovely, very brief book is about the enormous importance and value of shared meals in many diverse cultures. Mealtimes bring us together. What could be better than that, to further family values?

    I won this book from a NY Journal of Books giveaway. This brief little book with a beautiful cover and very expressive photographs of actual people, is an impressive analysis of what food means to all of us. At first, it seems simple enough, comprised of beautiful pictures of food with varied peoples enjoying its consumption, but it grows into the expression of a much deeper concept. The initial pages have few words but the few words grow into paragraphs when necessary. It is a book that can be shared by all ages. It would be fine if it was read by a child able to read by his/herself and it would be just as wonderful an experience if it were to be read to a child who cannot read the book alone. The key thing is the fact that it really illuminates the value of a shared meal. Food is not just a means to an end, satisfying a bodily need. It is a psychological and emotional event as well. Mealtime should be a time of family, a time of talking about the events of the day, a time to grow closer. We have lost a lot of this ability today, since families have two working parents who make little effort to sit down together. If nothing else, this book points out the need to return to the days of shared meals. The book itself does another good job. The photographs displayed on the pages are sharp. Their meaning is imparted with clarity, and the picture is worth 1000 words as the saying goes. I gave this book five stars. It accomplished its purpose and it did it well. It includes almost every culture in its discussion of mealtime. Eating is a fundamental joy in Jewish households, and as a Jew, I can appreciate the value of shared meals since all of our holidays revolve around a wonderful meal with traditional foods and happy conversation.

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