The Story of Salt

The Story of Salt

4.0 1
by Mark Kurlansky, S. D. Schindler
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

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

"Kurlansky uses salt as the lens through which to present a new perspective on history. [T]he author mixes science, history, and personal anecdotes, resulting in a fascinating look at this amazing substance. 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. A lively and well-researched title, with exemplary art."
School Library Journal, *starred review*

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:
9780399239984
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
09/07/2006
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
884,401
Product dimensions:
11.13(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.38(d)
Lexile:
1110L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

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

"Kurlansky uses salt as the lens through which to present a new perspective on history. [T]he author mixes science, history, and personal anecdotes, resulting in a fascinating look at this amazing substance. 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. A lively and well-researched title, with exemplary art."
School Library Journal, *starred review*

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