Children's Literature - Judy Katsh"Plants We Eat" is a series of scholarly studies of food plants that addesses their history, distribution, classification, use in food preparation, and growing and harvesting needs. Titles in the series include, Hard to Crack: Nut Trees, Glorious Grasses: The Grains, Flavor Foods: Spices & Herbs, and now Cool as a Cucumber, Hot as a Pepper: Fruit Vegetables. This latest title examines fruits that we commonly use as vegetables in our meals like tomatoes, eggplant, squash, and cucumbers. There are some beautiful photographs here and lots and lots of information that will be new to many of the readers of this well-written and thoroughly researched study. The problem is audience size, but for those readers who are interested in knowing almost everything there is to know about the fruits we use as vegetables, this will be a welcome addition to the library!
School Library JournalGr 5-8-In the identical introductions of these titles, photosynthesis and the domestication of plants are discussed. The general outline of each of the following chapters presents early history, cultivation, processing, and importance in diet of the individual foods. Cucumber discusses tomatoes, avocados, eggplants, breadfruits, cucumbers, squashes, and peppers; Grasses covers wheat, rice, corn, millet and barley, and oats and rye. In both books, the two-column texts read easily and are full of informative material. Unfortunately, Cucumber uses occasional unscientific phrases, such as "snatch sunlight," that do not fit with the rest of the text. There are minor problems in Grasses in the chapters concerning wheat and corn. Terminology in these two sections is sometimes ambiguous and misleading. Processes are discussed without stating that implements are used to accomplish the tasks. Both titles include recipes, sidebars, full-color photos (some close-ups), and full-page drawings of the life cycle of each plant. Despite some flaws, these titles deserve serious consideration.-Eldon Younce, Harper Elementary School, KS Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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