Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Thanksgiving Eve seems a perfect day to feature poems about food.

I was talking with a group of fourth graders this week about how poetry helps us see the world in whole new ways, and about how we read a poem, and then can never look at that object again, without thinking of that poem. I wish I had read FRESH DELICIOUS: POEMS FROM THE FARMERS' MARKET by Irene Latham, illustrated by Mique Moruchi, before I had taught this lesson. Fresh delicious includes twenty-one poems, including some that children will know- tomato, cucumbers, lettuce, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, potatoes, eggs and some they might not-purple hull peas,  basil, okra, and don't miss pole beans on the back cover from the Farmers' Market. A jillion surprising and really wonderful comparisons…

Where your
meets my
hopeful nose,
the world
with sweetness.
- Irene Latham

a fleet
of green

in a wicker
- Irene Latham

a bouquet
of minty
-Irene Latham

Mique Moriuchi's collage illustrations, featuring a variety of animals visiting the farmers' market and interacting with the produce  are perfect- bright, playful, and colorful. A bonus section includes recipes- salsa, fruit kebabs, lettuce wraps, and cheesy confetti frittata, mini veggie pizzas, and easy strawberry ice cream.

Another food/poetry book I read this week is OUR FOOD: A HEALTHY SERVING OF SCIENCE AND POEMS, is by a favorite author, Grace Lin, and her friend, Ranida T. McKneally. OUR FOOD features haiku from five food groups- protein, fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy.

Protein foods
I've always wondered
Do brown chickens lay brown eggs?
My thoughts are scrambled.
Almonds are "good fats"?
Do they fight crime in disguise?
Seems nutty to me 
Each haiku is accompanied by a rich informative piece. Some are basic what you might expect to find in a book about food-
     - What is a fruit?
     - Why do I have to eat my vegetables?
     - What are protein foods?

Some take the reader a little deeper:
     - Why are so many vegetables green?
     - Why are lean meats healthier than fatty meats?
     - What is the difference between brown bread and white bread?

Still others are downright fun:
     - What makes popcorn pop?
     - Why do beans make you gassy?
     - Why are some cheeses so stinky?

End pages include a few additional questions, a diagram of the four food groups, and a glossary. A terrific poetry/science crossover!


Linda B said...

I enjoyed Fresh! Delicious a lot, and still haven't read Our Food, but will! Glad to read your reviews here, Carol.Happy Thanksgiving!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Perfect and timely this week, Carol - thanks for sharing both! (I've been a fan of Irene's yummy book since before it was fully cooked. ;0) )

Ramona said...

I purchased copies of Fresh Delicious for both grandsons and got them autographed during Irene's visit. I was so taken with the poems that I didn't pay much attention to the illustrations which are delightful! I'll request the other book (new to me). Hope you're enjoying some downtime during this holiday weekend.

Linda Mitchell said...

Wonderful review! And, a great book, gift for loved ones, treat for the eyes.