Monday, May 23, 2011

To Market, To Market

To Market, To Market by Nikki McClure. Grades 1-5. Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2011. Unpaged. Review copy provided by my local library.

It's getting to be that time again - Farmer's Market season! This summer, as you visit the farmer's market (or the grocery store) with your kids, be sure to share To Market, To Market with them for the stories behind the foods you're buying. In this book, a family takes a trip to the Market. As they stop by each booth to get the items on their list, they learn where that item came from.

The first item on their list is apples and there's a spread showing the little boy picking out apples from a farmer's booth. On the next spread, there's a page of information about the apple farm and how the apples grow and the farmer picks them to take to the market. This pattern continues with the other items the family buys - kale, smoked salmon, honey, blueberry turnovers, cloth napkins, and cheese.

Cut-paper illustrations show both scenes at the market and scenes from the farmers' and craftspeople's farms. Each spread featuring a different market item is black and white with a primary color adding some punch - red for the apple spreads, green for kale, and so on. What I love about Nikki McClure's illustrations is that she shows real people, just like kids might actually see at a farmer's market. There are both male and female sellers, some old, some young, some with tattoos. (It's the tattoos that I really appreciate - I can't think of many children's books where tattoos make it into the illustrations, although it's something that children see in real life!)

This book would be great for a unit on food, healthy eating, communities, or farms and is perfect for sharing before a trip to the farmer's market or grocery store. It will inspire kids and families to ask about where their food comes from and how it got to their table.

It's Nonfiction Monday! Head on over to Great Kid Books for this week's roundup!