Fruits and Vegetables: How We Grow and Eat Them

Ruby Tuesday. (Get Started with STEM). Aug. 2022. 32p. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781788562751.
Gr 1-3–This new title in the “Getting Started with STEAM” series touches on topics of nutrition, agriculture, and biology. In presenting fruits and vegetables to children, Owens traces each plant’s journey very nearly from seed to digestion. After defining the two categories and explaining the different edible parts within each (seeds, roots, leaves, etc.), the author describes the full process of how eight different plants are grown, from seed to harvest. A unique feature is the highlighting of specific operations, such as the grafting of apple trees and freezing of peas in large batches. While the focus is on large farms using heavy machinery (which is described and pictured), the text mentions that people also grow food in home and community gardens. Up-to-date photographs, mostly of plants and food, but some of children who represent a wide array of backgrounds, pop out on vibrant, colorful pages as though in a scrapbook. The text is nicely split up by descriptive headings; engaging elements such as quizzes and experiments add an interactive component (though some will require help from adults). A final visually inspiring touch is a color wheel informing readers of the specific nutritional and health benefits of each food/plant.
VERDICT A recommended purchase for school libraries serving elementary age students, or medium to large public libraries seeking to update their nonfiction on this topic.

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