Children's Literature - Judy KatshAn introduction defines stem and bulb vegetables and a chapter each is devoted to onions, garlic, leeks, celery, asparagus, and rhubarb. Useful for report writers and interesting to browsers, the book provides lively information on history of human use, current growing practices, and herbal and medicinal properties both real and legendary. Two to four photographs, recipes, extra information in purple-tinted boxes and an open format make the information inviting and accessible. Certain words or phrases are circled in mock-handwriting to call attention to an arbitrary point, an annoying distraction since it does not necessarily highlight the points under discussion in a particular paragraph. Further reading suggestions, a glossary, and an index are included. "Plants We Eat" series. l999, Lerner, Ages 10 to 14, $18.95. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
School Library JournalGr 5-8-There's nothing stinky about this global look at the often fascinating history of stem and bulb edibles. Hughes knows her vegetables. Even better, she is able to take her passion for food and communicate interesting details to her audience. Readers will learn that onions were valued by the ancient Chinese, Babylonians, and Italians, while forbidden in India because of an unfounded belief that they were bad for the eyes. Modern information includes recipes, a look at "glamour" Maui onions (and their special curing process), and hints for tear-free preparation. While everybody knows that garlic will keep vampires away, it has also proven effective in keeping mosquitoes away. Its current popularity as a dietary supplement is no modern fad; ancient Egyptians and Chinese used it to treat headaches, tumors, and heart problems. Generous full-color photos show these appetizing vegetables in various stages: in the ground, being harvested, raw, and cooked. Color diagrams are captioned to show the various parts and stages of development of each plant. Millicent Selsam's Vegetables from Stems and Leaves (Morrow, 1972; o.p.) briefly covers many of the same vegetables and has many black-and-white photos, but it does not include history, recipes, or different cultural usages.-Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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