Pat Thomson continues her seven-part series
Putting a project together ideally begins with an unhurried survey of all the resources, and then a drawing together of the elements which most suit the age and ability of your particular group of children.
For the 5-12 age range each section covers one major topic and suggest non-fiction books, stories and poems related to the one theme. The addresses of organisations which offer help and material to schools are also included. The result should he a broadly based range of options which remind you of good material, inform you about new books and maybe even suggest new approaches within the chosen theme.
A single foodstuff can be a topic for a project in itself but for those looking for a wider application, food in our lives. the subject has important scientific and social, particularly multi-cultural, implications. The age range of the books covers 5-12, with most of the titles having a wide age reference.
Food and Science
Lots of Rot, Vicki Cobb, A & C Black 1988, O 7136 2992 4, £4.95. Leaving aside the mildewed sock, this ‘Science Safari’ title deals with rotting food. Lots of magnificent experiments and clear explanations. Lively enough to grab the whole primary age range. Doffy Weir deserves a credit, too, for the amusing and helpful illustrations.
Early Experiences: Beginnings, Schools Council Science 5/13, Macdonald, 1985 reprint, 0 356 04005 4, £4.95 non-net. Section on ‘Cooking Things’ lists the scientific experiences which can he gained and gives ideas for activities and recipes.
Science Horizons Level 1: Cooking and what we eat, West Sussex Science 5/14, Macmillan Education 1982, O 333 32156 1, £7.50. Plans and aims clearly set out before the activities. A very teacher-supportive series.
Food, Terry Jennings, Oxford 1984, 0 19 918161 6, £3.95. Part of ‘The Young Scientist Investigates’ series. Information pages on all aspects from the food chain to famine, separated by questions and experiments. Well organised.
Strawberry, Jennifer Coldrey and George Bernard, A & C Black 1988, ‘Stopwatch’ series, 0 7136 3052 3, £4.50. Luscious photographs illustrate how the plant grows and how fruit and seeds develop. Clear two-level text for younger or older readers. See also Apple Tree (0 7136 2818 9), Broad Bean (07136 2427 2), Mushroom (0 7136 2730 1) and Potato (0 7136 2929 0) in this series, £4.50 each.
Your Body Fuel, Dorothy Baldwin and Claire Lister, Wayland 1983, (( 85078 332 1, £4.50. Covers nutrition, energy, digestion, waste, food preservation and hygiene. Junior level, with extra information about particular terms (carbohydrates, saliva, etc.) in the form of an enlarged glossary.
Good Health 2, Vaughan Johnson & Trefor Williams, Nelson 1980, 0 17 423092 3, £2.95. The chapter on food deals with growth and nutrition. There are suggestions for related activities.
Teaching Primary Science, Keith Anderson, Macdonald 1973, 0 356 05082 3, £4.50. The introduction and guide volume indicates the value of cooking as an entry into science: the experience of materials, the effect of heat, and adds a sensible note on safety precautions.
Food, Jan Pienkowski, Heinemann 1986, 11 434 95637 6, £4.95; Picture Puffins, 0 14)150.778 7, £1.75 pbk. Very basic picture book. One-word captions accompany partners, such as milk and cows, rice and a paddy field.
Fruit Salad, Althea, Dinosaur 1987, 0 85122 677 9, £3.50; 0 85122 747 3, £1.75 pbk. Pleasing pictures of wild and cultivated fruits with a brief text, suitable for younger children.
Milk, Annabelle Dixon, A & C Black ‘Threads’ series 1988, 1) 7136 2933 9, £4.511. For top infants. Pictures, diagrams and long captions describe the dairying process and discuss food values. There is also a ‘things to do’ section. See also Bread, Judith Baskerville, 0 7136 2930 4, £4.50.
Eggs, Dorothy Turner, Wayland 1988, 185210 253 5, £4.95. These eggs are thoroughly done. The opening pages remind us that not only birds lay eggs, then scientific and technical information gives way to social aspects, including Easter and its precursors, and cookery. The same author’s Bread 0 85210 252 7) is equally well set out and includes the production process in a bakery and at home. In the same series Milk 0 85210 258 6) and Potatoes (I 85210 254 3), £4.95 each.
The Meat in Your Hamburger, Andrew Langley, Wayland 1982. 11 85340 946 3, E4.25. Publishers seem to be chickening out of books on meat! You may get this one from the library. Describes where and how the butcher gets his meat, methods of preservation and the animals involved.
Banana, Kathy Henderson, Macdonald 1986, 0 356 11554 2, £2.95. Double spreads follow the banana from planting to tea table. Short but dense text!
Mixed Vegetables, Julia Eccleshare, ill. Martin Ursell, Hamish Hamilton 1986, 0 241 11973 1, £4.95. Attractive coloured illustrations with very simple caption text. Useful for the wide range of vegetables which includes several exotic varieties. See also Fruit Salad. 0 241 11796 8, £4.95.
Potatoes on the Farm, Peggy Heeks, Wayland 1984, 0 85078 378 X, £4.511. Mainly about growing potatoes with some reference to their various destinations (pigs, Macdonalds). Brief text interspersed with questions.
Making Bread, Ruth Thomson, Watts 1986, 0 86313 429 7, E5.25. The full process in large print, photographs and diagrams. Concise and comprehensive. See also Making Chocolates, 0 86313 540 4, 0.25.
Mr Bourne is a Milkman, Richard Devenish, Young Library 1982, 0 946003 Ii) 9, £3.95. This book has a slightly different approach, almost that of a diary, which may suggest an interesting way of looking at a commodity we take for granted. Seen through the milkman’s eyes, his day is described by photographs and a brief text on the right, extra details on the left. Despite the youngish format, there is a density of information.
A useful series which offers a wide range of commodities is ‘Focus on Resources’ from Wayland, text for top juniors but informatively illustrated. Included are Coffee (O 85078 518 9), Dairy Produce (0 85078 601 0), Fruit (0 85078 793 9), Grain (0 85078 636 3), Rice (0 85078 795 5), Salt 0 85210 068,0), Seafood (0 85078 656 8), Soya (0 85078 791 2), Sugar (0 85078 618 5), Tea 01 85078 549 9), Vegetables 0 85210 069 9), £5.95 each. Cocoa (I 85211) 073 7, £6.50) will also be added to the list.
Two books about shopping, one for infants, one for juniors, are:
The Food Market, Peter Spier, Collins 1981, 0 00 140139 4, o/p. Jolly, sturdy book with lots of pictures of foodstuffs, arranged in categories. Useful ‘word book’.
Supermarket, Andrew Langley, Watts 1983, O 86313 038 0, £4.95. About a branch of Tesco, the emphasis on foodstuffs. Photographs with long captions.
Food and Cooking Around the World
Books about single commodities seem to be giving way to books about food in its social context. Most of the following have a strong multi-cultural theme. The first two also recognise the problem of hunger.
Round the World Food, Macmillan Education 1981, 0 333 31)676 7, £4.75. A Save the Children Fund collaboration which looks at diet and produce around the world, concluding with a reference to the Fund’s work in areas of need.
Food for Life, Olivia Bennett, Macmillan Education 1982, O 333 31 197 3, £6.50. Similar to the previous title but for older children 00+). Includes food and religion, customs and a strong section on health.
Children Need Food, Harry Undy, Wayland 1987, 1 85210 104 0, £6.95. Food science, pleasure, production, distribution and the many aspects of food sharing. Useful teacher’s notes and addresses.
Finger Foods, Chris Deshpande, A & C Black 1988, 0 7136 2986 X, £4.50. Off to a good start with a lollipop counting rhyme, this is a photographic survey of things we eat with our fingers. The cross-cultural sweep takes in chapatis and swiss rolls and we see a class of infants buying, preparing, cooking and tasting. The six suggested activities include recipes.
Chopsticks and Chips, Joan Solomon. Hamish Hamilton 1987, 0 241 12313 5. £4.95. Describes a Japanese Dolls Day party and the food which must go with it.
Nadeem Makes Samosas, Shusheila Stone, Hamish Hamilton 1987, II 141 12049 7. £5.,)0. The whole process of making samosas at home, from shopping to eating. Photographs, with Urdu and English texts.
What’s for Breakfast?. Tom and Jenny Watson, Wayland 1984, 08 5078 424 7, o/p. Part of a series for juniors which follows a particular meal around the world: ‘What we eat’, ‘Breakfast in other countries, ‘Food for health’. See also What’s for Dinner?, 1984, 0 85078 426 3, o/p.
Middle Eastern Food and Drink. Christine Osborne, Wayland 1988, ‘Food and Drink series, 185211) 313 2. £6.50)). This series uses food as the key to the geography, history, religion, agriculture and trade of the countries described. This title for example uses cookery to illuminate life and customs in the Arab states. Modern photographs take us from desert to city and indicate both the variety and common themes throughout the area. The food at the Kuwait Hilton, by the way, seems okay.
French Food and Drink, Francoise Lafargue, Wayland 1987, 1) 85078 895 I , £5.95, is part of the same series but is appropriately different, reflecting the contrasts in the countries and our children’s likely experience of them both. Here brief geographical and historical references precede a wide-ranging, regional survey which includes recipes. A few French phrases and a typical menu invite a little activity. See also titles in the same series on Japan, Russia, North America, Mexico and China.
If You Want to Cook
Food Around the World, Jenny Ridgwell and Judy Ridgway, Oxford 1986. O 19 837727 7. £5.95. An introduction with some local food detail is provided for each country and there are projects and questions suitable for 10+ but the recipes are the real strength – often exotic but easy to prepare. Clever pictures add to the information.
Exploring Indian Food in Britain, Shahrukh Husain, Mantra 1988, 0 947679 90 1. £6.95. A group of children go shopping for things to make an Indian meal. Quite a densely informative narrative plus photographs, maps, drawings. Juniors. See also in the same series: Caribbean Food (0 947679 89 8) and Chinese Food (0 947679 91 X), £6.95 each.
The Khalid Aziz Book of Simple Indian Cookery, E J Arnold 1981. II 5611 74521 4, o/p. Explanations before the recipes, giving a little culture and history.
Little Mouse Makes Sweets, Michelle Cartlidge, Walker 1986, O 7445 0475 9, £3.95. Picture/recipe book for the youngest which should result in peppermint creams and fudge. Picture ingredients and story instructions.
Peter Rabbit’s Cookery Book, Anne Emerson, Warne 1986, 0 7232 3328 4, £3.95, and The Pooh Cook Book, Katie Stewart, Methuen 1971, 11 416 652711 0, £4.50. Both have simple recipes and illustrations from the story books.
Cooking is Easy, Anne Thorpe, Hamlyn 1986, 0 600 31114 7, o/p. Adopts a step by step approach, for junior age range. Microwave cookery is included.
Food in History
A Medieval Feast, Aliki, Bodley Head 1985, 0 370 30979 0, £5.95. Elegant, colourful pictures and a short, explanatory text show us everything which was needed to produce the great feast.
Looking Back at Food and Drink, Anne Mountfield, Macmillan 1988, 0 333 43942 2, £6.50. Double spreads on early hunters, different animal food sources, farming tools, cultivation, cooking, preserving and selling. A quiz recapitulates the information and the glossary is a dictionary of food matters.
Both Food in History, Sheila Robertson, Wayland 1983, 085078 309 7, o/p, and Farming in History, Ralph Whitlock, Wayland 1983, 0 85078 357 7, £5.50, are part of the ‘Picture History’ series. The first takes a wide range of commodities and places a page of information against contemporary illustrations. These are fascinating, selected from advertisements as well as magazines and books. The second starts with a medieval manor and finishes with mechanisation, having dealt with food production as well as that of eider and beer. Sources of further information, including places to visit, are found at the back of the book.
For an extra spark to your project, consider The British Museum Cookbook, Michelle Barriedale-Johnson, British Museum 1987, 0 7141 1663 7, £9.95. Extraordinary book, accessible to top juniors with teacher help. Brief notes on the food of ancient civilisations (China, Egypt) are followed by actual recipes. Should the history project be flagging, here is everything you need to provide a full banquet from Imperial Rome.
FICTION AND POETRY
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Erie Carle, Hamish Hamilton, 0 241 01798 X. £6.95; Picture Puffins, O 14 050.087 1, £1.95 pbk. A favourite which touches on the subject of suitable and unsuitable food as well as picturing a very mixed diet.
The Gingerbread Boy, Vera Southgate, Ladybird, 0 7214 01472 3, 90p. One of several versions. Here we have the possibility of hearing the story and eating the hero.
The Doorbell Rang, Pat Hutchins, Bodley Head, O 370 30726 7, £5.25; Picture Puffins, 0 14 050.709 4, £1.95 pbk. The batch of cookies diminishes with each new caller. Fortunately, the last ring heralds Grandma with a big tray of her cookies. Nice mathematical implications.
Don’t Forget the Bacon!, Pat Hutchins, Bodley Head, 0 370 11542 2, £5.50: Picture Puffins. 0 14 050.315 3, .£1.95 pbk. A shopping list story with good jokes and a ‘joining in’ refrain.
The Magic Pasta Pot, Tomie de Paola, Andersen, 0 86264 081 4, £5.95; Beaver, 0 1)9 941950 5, £l .95 pbk. The traditional story of the cooking pot which overflows – this time with pasta which threatens to engulf the town. Good for drama.
The Giant Jam Sandwich, John Vernon Lord and Janet Burroway, Cape, O 224 00674 6, £4.95; Picture Piper, 0 330 30354 6, £2.50 pbk. When Itching Down is hit by a plague of wasps, a giant trap is devised – a huge jam sandwich. An ingenious comedy of scale.
Where’s Julius?, John Burningham, Cape, 0 224 02411 6, £5.95; Picture Piper, 0 330 30168 3, £2.50 pbk. A roll-call of elaborate menus fails to entice Julius who has much better things to do, until the steamed pud brings him home for supper.
Mrs Pig’s Bulk Buy, Mary Rayner, Macmillan, 0 333 30978 2, £5.95. Mrs Pig calls the piglets’ bluff over the matter of the ever-present tomato ketchup.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Judi Barrett, Gollancz, o/p. Try and get this one from the library. What if the weather was all food? Drifts of baked beans’? Gets them inventing.
Supermarket Thursday, Jean Chapman, Hodder, 0 340 36637 0, £6.95. Title story. A simple shopping adventure for the youngest.
Trouble in the Cupboard, Pat Thomson, Gollancz, O 575 03976 0, £6.95. ‘A Very Important Person’. When Thomas Chocolate Paws comes to dinner, the more proletarian Ginger thinks of a highly original meal to give him, which ensures he does not come again.
Allotment Lane School Again, Margaret Joy, Faber, 0 571 13563 3, £5.95; Young Puffins, 0 14 03.2089 X, £1.50 pbk. ‘Pancake Day Surprises’. School stories based on familiar infant activities- On Shrove Tuesday, Miss Mee burns the pancakes.
Toad Food and Measle Soup, Christine McDonnell, Puffins, (( 14 03.1724 4, £1.75 pbk. Title story. Mother’s vegetarian phase is rather a strain on the family but Leo is relieved to find that tofu and miso soup is different but edible.
The Julian Stories, Ann Cameron, Gollancz. O 575 03143 3, £5.95; Young Lions, 0 00 672227 X. £1.50 pbk. ‘The Pudding Like a Night on the Sea’. Father makes a very special pudding for Mother but somehow it gets eaten and Julian and Huey are in trouble.
Fighting in Break, Barbara Ireson, Faber, 0 571 14623 6, £6.95. ‘The Dinner Lady who Made Magic’ by Dorothy Edwards transforms dinner hour at school. Not only the food but the children change.
Trouble with the Fiend, Sheila Lavelle, Hamish Hamilton, 0 241 11305 9, £6.95; Young Lions, 0 00 672433 7, £1.75 pbk. Chapter 4. More fiend than friend, Angela sends long-suffering Charlie in search of the non-existent, free, giant McDougal Cheeseburger.
Dinner at Alberta’s, Russell Hoban, Cape, 0 224 01393 9, £4.95; Young Puffins, 0 14 03.1267 6, 0.50 )) pbk. Arthur Crocodile decides he has to improve his table manners radically when he is invited to dinner at Alberta’s house. The impact of falling in love explored at ‘Young Puffin’ length.
The Gingerbread Man, David Wood, Pavilion, 0 907516 81 5, £5.95; Young Puffins, l) 14 03.2054 7, £1.50 pbk. Not the traditional story but taken from the play. The action takes place on a dresser and a tea bag takes a leading role.
The Perfect Hamburger, Alexander McCall Smith, Hamish Hamilton, 0 241 10717 2, £3.50; Young Puffins, 0 14 03.1670 1, £1.50 pbk. The search for the lost recipe which will save an ailing hamburger business.
Magnus Powermouse, Dick King-Smith, Gollancz, 0 575 03116 6, £5.95; Puffins, 0 14 03.1602 7, £1.50 pbk. The secret of Magnus’s extraordinary size lies in what he eats. Comic novel which works well in class.
Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Methuen, 0 416 07130 9, £5.95; Puffins, 0 14 03.0194 I, £1.95 pbk. Positive compendium of food information from hunter, through preservation and cooking, to table. With this, you too could become pioneers.
The Piemakers, Helen Cresswell, Faber, 0 571 14761 5. £6.95; Puffins. 0 14 03.0868 7, £1.75. A competition, a rivalry, and the biggest pie ever baked. A satisfying middle age range story.
The Revenge of Samuel Stokes, Penelope Lively, Heinemann, 0 434 94889 6, £7.95; Puffins, 0 14 03.1504 7, £1.95 pbk. When an enraged Samuel returns to haunt the new estate, only Grandad can be the mediator. It’s a love of food which draws the two old gentlemen together.
The Ship from Simnel Street, Jenny Overton, Faber, 0 571 13649 4, £7.95; Puffins, 0 14 03.2332 5. £1.99 pbk. Wonderfully detailed historical story of a baker’s family. For fluent readers or share the details about baking and food customs with younger listeners.
One location for each poem is given but you may well find them in your own collections. The first anthology is entirely about food; the next three have substantial food sections.
A Packet of Poems, Jill Bennett, Oxford, 0 19 276049 1, £5.95; 0 19 276066 1, £2.95 pbk
A Very First Poetry Book, John Foster, Oxford, 0 19 916051 I . £4.95; 0 19 9160503, £2.95 pbk
The Kingfisher Book of Comic Verse, Roger McGough, Kingfisher, 0 86272 217 9, £6.95. ‘Chew on this’ section.
Poems for Seven-Year-Olds and Under, Helen Nicoll, Viking Kestrel, 0 67080757 5, £6.95; Puffins, 0 14 03.1489 X, £1.95 pbk. ‘Dinnertime’ section.
You’ll Love This Stuff!, Morag Styles, Cambridge, 0 521 32130 1, £5.25; 0 521 31275 2, £2.95 pbk. See especially ‘Have a Mango’. ‘Coconut’, ‘Dumplin” and ‘Pawpaw’.
The Old Man and the Edible Suit, Edward Lear and Jon Atlas Higham, Macmillan, (( 333 41384 9, £5.50; Picturemac, 0 333 45283 6, £2.50 pbk
‘The Welsh’ by E V Lucas in The Children’s Book of Comic Verse, Christopher Logue, Batsford, 0 7134 1528 2, £7.95; Piccolo, 0 330 26273 4, £1.25 pbk
‘School Dinners’ in Magic Mirror, poems by Judith Nicholls, Faber, 0 571 13696 6, £2.95 pbk
‘Anna Mae “Chip Shop” O’Sullivan’ in Song of the City, Gareth Owen, Collins, 0 00 184846 l, £4.95; Lions, 0 00 672410 8, £1.95 pbk
The following organisations offer information or materials to schools at no cost or for a nominal sum. Further items may be available. Most food manufacturers’ materials will, of course, be in some measure promotional. For full details, send an sae.
Apple and Pear Development Council
British Egg Information Service
126-128 Cromwell Road
(Charts, cards. ‘Healthy Eating’ pack from same address.)
Dairy Produce Advisory Service
Milk Marketing Board
(Booklets, workcards, video)
Flour Advisory Service
21 Arlington Street
(Posters, leaflets, recipes)
Fyffes Group Ltd
15 Stratton Street
W1A 2LL (Booklet)
Health Education Council
78 New Oxford Street
Learning from the Land Association of Agriculture
16-20 Strutton Ground
New Zealand Lamb Education Service
10 Barb Mews
(Charts, leaflets, video)
120 Rodney House
United Biscuits (UK) Ltd
Van den Berghs
The Vegetarian Society
Youth Education Officer
WA 14 4QG
Other themes to be covered in the series include Festivals and Celebrations and The Senses. Previous themes: House and Home (July 88); Water (September 88); and Clothing (November 88).
Pat Thomson is Professional Studies Librarian at Nene College of Higher Education, past chair of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups, and author of the ‘Share-a-Story’ series from Gollancz.