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WINNER: 2012 Washington State Book Award, Children's Picture Books
Readers join a mother and child on their trip to the farmers market, meeting vendors and learning how they prepare their goods for sale.
Exact, masterful cut-paper illustrations bring the market's smells, produce, bustle and cheery people to life. At each stand, a double-page spread introduces the artisan and the next item on the family's shopping list (which appears on the title page). On the left, proud portraits of smiling producers selling their goods immediately humanize the quotidian errand; on the right, the list item appears in large, colored lettering followed by a brief introduction to both sellers and their products. McClure calls the vendors by their first names only, and her conversational tone feels almost as warm as a good handshake. A page-turn takes readers back to the orchard, field, smoke-house, garage or barn where their goods originated—earthy, realistic scenes captured brilliantly through bold, black lines and the use of a single color associated with each item. Opposite pages deliver lengthy, sometimes exhausting, descriptions of each production process. McClure clearly wishes to honor the sellers' unflagging energy and admirable work, and she succeeds handily through her lively illustrations. Here, cut paper reads as freeze frames, action shots of real people with cockeyed grins, tattoos, funny hats, dogs and children.
These soulful images never feel static—an amazing feat for such a deliberate, painstaking medium. (Picture book. 2-8)
Posted July 16, 2011
Quick! Where does food like fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, and cheese come from? Of course, silly, from the grocery store. Well, not always, and there's more to it than just that. More and more people are turning to local farmers markets to find fresher and healthier foods. In this book, a young boy and his mother go on Market Day to shop for Michael's crisp apples, Colin and Genine's kale, Steve's smoked salmon, Benjamin's maple honey, Evan and Emma's blueberry turnovers, Heather and Katelyn's goat cheese, and even Yukie's hand-dyed napkins. What will they do with all this good stuff?
Author Nikki McClure, whose cut-paper art nicely illustrates the story, visits the Olympia, WA, Farmers Market every week. All of the people pictured in the book are real vendors at her local market. In addition, McClure did extensive research on who makes the food she eats and how it gets to market. So as the boy and his mother shop, they tell the reader how each item is grown or made so that it can grace their table and fill their stomachs. Did you know that there are over 6,000 farmers markets in the United States alone? To Market, To Market will encourage people to buy locally, eat healthy, and discover new foods. It is a unique and fascinating way to introduce youngsters to how food is grown, prepared, and brought to market. Perhaps the "way it used to be" is the wave of the future.
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