The Story of Salt

( 1 )

Overview

"[T]his salutary…micro-history will have young readers lifting their shakers in tribute."
Kirkus Reviews, *starred review*

"A lively and well-researched title, with exemplary art."
School Library Journal, *starred review*

From the team that created the ALA Notable Book The Cod's Tale comes the fascinating history of salt, which has been ...

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Overview

"[T]his salutary…micro-history will have young readers lifting their shakers in tribute."
Kirkus Reviews, *starred review*

"A lively and well-researched title, with exemplary art."
School Library Journal, *starred review*

From the team that created the ALA Notable Book The Cod's Tale comes the fascinating history of salt, which has been the object of wars and revolutions and is vital for life.

Based on Mark Kurlansky's critically acclaimed bestseller Salt: A World History, this handsome picture book explores every aspect of salt: The many ways it's gathered from the earth and sea; how ancient emperors in China, Egypt, and Rome used it to keep their subjects happy; Why salt was key to the Age of Exploration; what salt meant to the American Revolution; And even how the search for salt eventually led to oil. Along the way, you'll meet a Celtic miner frozen in salt, learn how to make ketchup, and even experience salt's finest hour: Gandhi's famous Salt March.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mark Kurlansky adapts his bestselling book for adults, Salt: A World History, into an accessible picture-book text for young people, The Story of Salt, illus. by S.D. Schindler. A rock that Kurlansky discovered while in a mountain town in Spain sent him on a journey of research and wonder. Schindler's illustrations range from full-bleed spreads of salt mines to an impressive scaled-down version of the periodic table. Readers will come away with newfound respect for NaCl, which has prompted smuggling and wars, has preserved food, and has acted as a catalyst in myriad cultures including Gandhi's Salt March in 1930. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
When he purchased a salt rock in Spain, the author became fascinated by its unique characteristics: how a puddle would appear under it on humid days; how stalactites formed when he put it in the toaster oven, etc. He presents the chemical elements of salt and concludes how amazing it is that an unstable element and a poisonous element can come together to form a compound that is essential to the well-being of all living animals. Continuing in the same lively, readable tone, Kurlansky tells us how salt is made, where it is found, and why it has been such an important commodity through the centuries. Sidebars provide interesting tidbits of information, such as the origin of tomato ketchup, and why certain English words are based on the Roman word for salt. Schindler's illustrations have some quirky and humorous touches that draw the reader into the book. They help amplify the information in the text by illustrating the civilization and part of the world that is being discussed. The last two pages present a time line of important dates in the history of salt. Entertainingly informative and highly readable in its picture book format, this is a fine book for every collection. It will find a place in science and social studies classes. It could also be an interesting read aloud, and it is certainly a book to recommend to curious students.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Using the same format as in The Cod's Tale (Putnam, 2001), Kurlansky uses salt as the lens through which to present a new perspective on history. Chiseling the story down from his adult book Salt: A World History (Penguin, 2003), the author mixes science, history, and personal anecdotes, resulting in a fascinating look at this amazing substance. He defines its make-up, examines the ways it appears in nature, and discusses the important role it has played in various civilizations through the ages. Schindler's humorously detailed pen-and-ink drawings with colorful washes enliven the narrative and help to convey the wealth of information in the text. Data and illustrated graphs and maps further enhance the presentation. A lively and well-researched title, with exemplary art.-Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The author of Cod's Tale (2001) again demonstrates a dab hand at recasting his adult work for a younger audience. Here the topic is salt, "the only rock eaten by human beings," and, as he engrossingly demonstrates, "the object of wars and revolutions" throughout recorded history and before. Between his opening disquisition on its chemical composition and a closing timeline, he explores salt's sources and methods of extraction, its worldwide economic influences from prehistoric domestication of animals to Gandhi's Salt March, its many uses as a preservative and industrial product, its culinary and even, as the source for words like "salary" and "salad," its linguistic history. Along with lucid maps and diagrams, Schindler supplies detailed, sometimes fanciful scenes to go along, finishing with a view of young folk chowing down on orders of French fries as ghostly figures from history look on. Some of Kurlansky's claims are exaggerated (the Erie and other canals were built to transport more than just salt, for instance), and there are no leads to further resources, but this salutary (in more ways than one) micro-history will have young readers lifting their shakers in tribute. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780147511669
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 8/7/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 280,670
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 1110L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Kurlansky

Mark Kurlansky is the New York Times bestselling author of many books, including The Food of a Younger Land, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World; Salt: A World History; 1968: The Year That Rocked the World; and The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell. He lives in New York City.

S. D. Schindler lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Biography

Blessed with extraordinary narrative skills, journalist and bestselling author Mark Kurlansky is one of a burgeoning breed of writers who has turned a variety of eclectic, offbeat topics into engaging nonfiction blockbusters.

Kurlansky worked throughout the 1970s and '80s as a foreign correspondent in Europe and Mexico. He spent seven years covering the Caribbean for the Chicago Tribune and transformed the experience into his first book. Published in 1992, A Continent of Islands was described by Kirkus Reviews as "[a] penetrating analysis of the social, political, sexual, and cultural worlds that exist behind the four-color Caribbean travel posters."

Since then, Kurlansky has produced a steady stream of bestselling nonfiction, much of it inspired by his longstanding interest in food and food history. (He has worked as a chef and a pastry maker and has written award-winning articles for several culinary magazines.) Among his most popular food-centric titles are the James Beard Award winner Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World (1997), Salt: A World History (2002), and The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell (2006). All three were adapted into illustrated children's books.

In 2004, Kurlansky cast his net wider with 1968: The Year that Rocked the World, an ambitious, colorful narrative history that sought to link political and cultural revolutions around the world to a single watershed year. While the book itself received mixed reviews, Kurlanski's storytelling skill was universally praised. In 2006, he published the scholarly, provocative critique Nonviolence: Twenty-five Lessons From the History of a Dangerous Idea. It received the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

Despite occasional forays into fiction (the 2000 short story collection The White Man in the Tree and the 2005 novel Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue), Kurlansky's bailiwick remains the sorts of freewheeling colorful, and compulsively readable micro-histories that 21st-century readers cannot get enough of.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, NY
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 7, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Hartford, CT
    1. Education:
      Butler University, B.A. in Theater, 1970

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