The Life of Rice: From Seedling to Supper

Overview

Follow a photographer to Thailand as he documents the life of rice—from planting ceremony to eating—in a compelling narrative with vivid color images.

Rice is one of the most abundant and widely grown crops in the world today. In Thailand, rice is grown everywhere—and it is almost always a part of every meal. Photographer Richard Sobol invites us on a journey to Thailand to explore the life of rice: from the beginning of the growing season at the Royal Plowing Ceremony, to the ...

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Overview

Follow a photographer to Thailand as he documents the life of rice—from planting ceremony to eating—in a compelling narrative with vivid color images.

Rice is one of the most abundant and widely grown crops in the world today. In Thailand, rice is grown everywhere—and it is almost always a part of every meal. Photographer Richard Sobol invites us on a journey to Thailand to explore the life of rice: from the beginning of the growing season at the Royal Plowing Ceremony, to the hard work of transplanting and harvesting the rice plants, and finally ending with a delicious dinner—of rice, of course! Illustrated with beautiful photographs of the farmers and rice fields of Thailand, this is a firsthand account of one of the world’s most valuable and important crops.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sobol's Traveling Photographer series continues with this exploration of the cultivation of one of the planet's most critical foodstuffs. The author traveled to Thailand at the invitation of the king to attend a ceremony celebrating the opening of the rice-growing season. From there, Sobol moves to the Thai countryside, meeting and working with rice farmers, and explaining the harvesting process to readers. Sobol's prose is as clear as his photographs, and in tandem, they drive home the importance of this grain; additional information about rice and a glossary complete this focused and accessible account. Ages 5–8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Sara Rofofsky Marcus
This photographic narrative of the life of rice in Thailand from the beginning at the Royal Plowing Ceremony to the food made with rice, this work includes photographs of farmers and rice fields, and illustrates with words and images the effort that goes into growing such a crop. Beginning with the receipt of an official invitation from the king of Thailand to the Royal Plowing Ceremony, Sobol portrays the importance of rice to the people of Thailand, through the many celebrations of rice throughout the year. Children will gain an appreciation of the culture, traditions, and life in Thailand. Written in a child-friendly manner, this work educates as it entertains, teaching about the process of growing rice as well as the life of a farmer in general. Sobol has included a list of rice facts, the types of rice, a glossary, a list of rice holidays by month, and some Thai rice dishes. This work is a valuable addition to any cultural studies or agricultural collection for children. Reviewer: Sara Rofofsky Marcus
School Library Journal
Gr 2–6—Turning his lens to the rice fields of Thailand, Sobol begins this affectionate account with a description of the Royal Plowing Ceremony that kicks off the planting season and continues through cultivation and into the harvest. Brief explanations of the growing stages of rice are accompanied by beautiful color photographs of the fields in their various phases. The theme of the book is really the significant role that this grain plays in both the cultural and economic lives of the people. Those wanting an in-depth look at rice production worldwide will need to supplement this book with other titles, but Sobol offers an interesting look at a country and its people, and their relationship to the land. The writing is accessible and lively, providing a unique, specific look at one of the world's most important staples.—Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA
Kirkus Reviews

Many rice farmers all over Thailand still plant and harvest by hand, with the help of family members and such animals as water buffalo and elephants. For this second in the Traveling Photographer series, Sobol goes from Uganda (Breakfast in the Rainforest, 2008) to Thailand to document the life cycle of rice in both low- and high-tech agriculture. He presents colorful, eye-catching photographs to accompany his narrative of how rice is grown, harvested, used and eaten and also provides glimpses into Thai culture, especially the farmers for whom "rice is life"; rice is such an important part of Thai culture that there are several national holidays dedicated to the crop. (A listing of the holidays and their descriptions is included in the back, along with a glossary, rice facts and the names of some popular Thai rice dishes.) The end pages show a simple, unlabeled global map with Thailand highlighted, while the first page features a slightly more detailed map of Thailand and its surrounding areas. Using rice as a lens, this book delivers an engaging snapshot of Thailand and its people. (Nonfiction. 7-10)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763632526
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Series: Traveling Photographer Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 790,931
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Sobol is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in numerous national magazines. His children’s books include the first in the Traveling Photographer series, BREAKFAST IN THE RAINFOREST: A VISIT WITH MOUNTAIN GORILLAS. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

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