SERIES MADE SIMPLE

From Cocoa Beans to Chocolate

9781681511207. ea vol: illus. by Stephanie Fizer Coleman. 24p. (Who Made My Lunch?). further reading. glossary. maps. websites. Amicus. Jul. 2017. lib. ed. $29.95. pap. $8.99.
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K-Gr 3—Prompted by the question "Who made my lunch?," these titles highlight the people responsible for the production of food items, such as the wheat farmer, miller, and baker who produce sandwich bread, or the dairy farmer, processors, and sugar caners who help make ice cream. Maps and climate conditions provide agriculture and geography facts, while the waste-saving measures of the peanut farmer, who saves roasted peanut skins to feed pigs and peanut hearts to feed birds, reveal environmental savvy. Context clues help with text vocabulary; wheat goes "dormant" in cold months, "sort of like taking a nap." Scientific processes and math figures are integrated for an interdisciplinary approach. Some social commentary informs students about Fair Trade practices in other countries.
VERDICT A clever triple-dip into agriculture concepts, career awareness, and ELA sequencing skills for younger elementary students.
In each book, a child prepares to eat something but first learns how the food is produced by being transported to various places involved. The second-person texts cover countries of origin, growing and harvesting conditions, and processing details. Simple, engaging illustrations featuring a diverse cast of kids will appeal to young readers. Reading list, websites. Glos.

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