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An Edible Alphabet: 26 Reasons to Love the Farm

Overview

Bouncing blueberries, eager ewes, and giggling geese!
 
Join this lively bunch on an alphabetical tour of today’s farm. With families and schools thinking more than ever about fresh, healthful choices for the table, kids want to know about the foods they see and eat every day: Where does it come from? ...
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Overview

Bouncing blueberries, eager ewes, and giggling geese!
 
Join this lively bunch on an alphabetical tour of today’s farm. With families and schools thinking more than ever about fresh, healthful choices for the table, kids want to know about the foods they see and eat every day: Where does it come from? How is it grown? What’s the difference between a fruit and a veggie? Why don’t chickens have teeth?
 
This entertaining survey of modern farming provides a wealth of farm facts and farm lore, including:
 
-Why some egg yolks are deep orange and others pale yellow
-Which kind of tomato is used to make ketchup
-What butterflies, hummingbirds, bats, and bees all have in common
-Why farmers love ladybugs
-Why sheep smell with their feet
 
Of course there are far more than 26 reasons to love the farm. What are yours?

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This informative alphabet book focuses on the importance of agricultural and animal farms. For each letter, Watterson uses bouncy alliteration to introduce her subjects; "S" stands for "Stink, Stank, Stunk," a reference to the manure that farmers are seen spreading. Other spreads tell brief narratives: a group of pigs discuss how their mud baths lead to a common misconception. "We are clean animals!" says one. "I can't stand it when my sty or bed is dirty." Sorrentino matches Watterson's friendly prose with lively mixed-media collages that include polka-dotted fowl and cars fashioned from zucchini, while interactive prompts and intriguing facts give readers a lot to munch on. Ages 4–8. (July)
Children's Literature - Heather Welsh
Don't be fooled into thinking this is just another A to Z book that will only appeal to primary grade students. This book will help children make a connection between what they eat, where it comes from, and how it's grown. It also presents the animals and insects that are an often forgotten, yet integral part of farming in an interesting, yet factual way. The reader will learn that sheep don't like to be alone, geese like to mow the lawn, and ladybugs can eat up to five-thousand aphids in their lifetime. The alliterative writing invites the reader to nosh on some bouncing blueberries, crunchy carrots, and tasty tomatoes while visiting some eager ewes and a gaggle of geese. Teachers will love the many opportunities to discuss figurative language. Stalks of asparagus, for example, are "little green soldiers poking their heads through the brown earth." Parents of reluctant eaters will find that this book will presents new foods in a fun and favorable light. Even the pickiest reader will love how the seven different varieties of peas are presented in colorful pictures and spunky poetry. Reviewer: Heather Welsh
Kirkus Reviews

The subtitle announces the approach of this clever ABC that will inform and entertain kids, whether they are farm savvy or naive.

Each letter has a title with factual tidbits in reader-friendly layout and text. Kk, "King-sized Kohlrabi," gives an explanation of the vegetable and lists varieties. "Kohlrabi are sweet-tasting bulbs with thick stems that grow above ground. While they're usually about the size of a tennis ball, some—like the king-sized Kossak kohlrabi—can grow as a big as a volleyball." The chatty style and occasional questions will engage kids. Some word choices are a stretch—Ice Cold Ice Cream for I and Oh! Overalls in the Orchard, for example—though they do connect to farm life. S is for Stink, Stank, Stunk (manure); X is for Xtra Large Eggs with Yummy Yellow Yolks; Z is for Zoom Zoom Zucchini (with rules for zucchini races). What makes it all work are the vividly colored collages made with handpainted papers and acrylics. The end pages create a puzzle to find specific words and images, plus there's a ladybug to find in each scene. For storytimes, pair this with Lois Ehlert'sEating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z(1989).

A basketful of farm-filled fun and learning.(Informational picture book. 5-8)

From the Publisher
Review, School Library Journal, July 1, 2011
"This engaging and informative foray into farms of all kinds practically bursts with the creators’ enthusiasm for their subject....The book succeeds on many levels; each letter features an alliterative and/or silly sentence or two, suitable for a classroom storytime, while additional text offers more information about the plants and animals featured on a spread."

Review, Booklist, June 7, 2011
"In this food-focused ABC book for a wide age range, the combination of facts and language play creates plenty of fun....Kids will enjoy learning about common foods, even as they savor the clever wordplay for each letter of the alphabet."

School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—This engaging and informative foray into farms of all kinds practically bursts with the creators' enthusiasm for their subject. Sorrentino's boldly colored illustrations, comprised of collages with hand-painted papers and acrylics, capture the eye as surely as Watterson's bouncy text captures the ear. The book succeeds on many levels; each letter features an alliterative and/or silly sentence or two, suitable for a classroom storytime, while additional text offers more information about the plants and animals featured on a spread. The text throughout boasts a playful style, as when asparagus are described as "little green soldiers poking their heads through the brown earth" and when vegetables on their way to the market share an imaginary conversation. This title blends the factual and the imaginative in a way that always makes the facts clear, from "Ants on Asparagus" right through to "Zoom Zoom Zucchini" (accompanied by directions for making a zucchini race car).—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—This engaging and informative foray into farms of all kinds practically bursts with the creators' enthusiasm for their subject. Sorrentino's boldly colored illustrations, comprised of collages with hand-painted papers and acrylics, capture the eye as surely as Watterson's bouncy text captures the ear. The book succeeds on many levels; each letter features an alliterative and/or silly sentence or two, suitable for a classroom storytime, while additional text offers more information about the plants and animals featured on a spread. The text throughout boasts a playful style, as when asparagus are described as "little green soldiers poking their heads through the brown earth" and when vegetables on their way to the market share an imaginary conversation. This title blends the factual and the imaginative in a way that always makes the facts clear, from "Ants on Asparagus" right through to "Zoom Zoom Zucchini" (accompanied by directions for making a zucchini race car).—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582464213
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/26/2011
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 1,447,140
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

CAROL WATTERSON is a former associate publisher with Raincoast Books. While her heart is in the country, she happily tends a "reclaimed" patch of land in the parking lot behind the apartment she shares with her husband and two daughters. Carol loves sharing stories about food and farming with children of all ages, and with their parents. This is her first book.

MICHELA SORRENTINO's two children along with her menagerie of animals provided inspiration for her illustrations. The artwork for An Edible Alphabet was created using a combination of collage, acrylic hand-painted papers, and drawings. A designer as well as an illustrator, Michela has designed a number of books through her graphic design company Hermani + Sorrentino Design. An Edible Alphabet is her first book for children.

From the Hardcover edition.

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