Locate or order the featured books for each unit prior to starting the Food, Culture, and Reading program. If you can not find the featured book, please use the alternate book that is suggested. To supplement activities or to encourage extra reading, additional resource books are listed (Books).
Unit 1 - United States and MyPyramid
Featured Book: The Usborne Little Round the World Cookbook (Children's World Cookbook IL) by Angela Wilkes and Fiona Watt. (Usborne Publishing, 2004. Hardcover.) ISBN: 07945 08073. This book includes more than forty simple, delicious recipes from around the world with great photos.
Alternate Book: Let’s Eat! What Children Eat around the World by Beatrice Hollyer. (Oxfam, 2004. Hardcover.) ISBN: 0805073221. Colorful photographs detail the lives of five youngsters from around the world: their homes, families, traditions, and typical foods. Each section also explores a special day in one child's life and the role of food in it: a wedding in South Africa, a fiesta in Mexico, a day out with Dad in Thailand, and a birthday in India.
Alternate Book: Travel-the-world Cookbook by Pamela Marx. (Good Year Books, 1996.Paperback.) ISBN: 067336254-X This cookbook is organized by continents. Each recipe includes information on ktichen tools needed, ingredients, directions for food preparaation, an interesting food fact as well as a cultural fact, and an activity related to the continent.
Unit 2 - Mexico and Grains
Featured Book:Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto. (Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 1993. Paperback.) ISBN: 0-698-11412-4. Maria tries on her mother’s wedding ring while helping make tamales for a Christmas family get-together. Panic ensues when, hours later, she realizes the ring is missing.
Alternate Book: The Tortilla Factory by Gary Paulson. (Voyager Books, 1998. Paperback.) ISBN: 0152016988. This book describes how corn is harvested and made into tortillas.
Unit 3 - Russia and Vegetables
Featured Book: Latkes, Latkes Good To Eat, A Chanukah Story by Naomi Howland.(Clarion Books, 1999. Paperback.)
ISBN: 0-618-49295-X. This appealing tale is about a girl who does a kind deed for an old woman, who gives her a magic pan that will fry up latkes.
Alternate Book: Latkes and Applesauce: A Hanukkah Story by Fran Manushkin. (Scholastic, 1992. Paperback.) ISBN: 0590422650. A poor family struggles to make ends meet when an enormous snow storm keeps them from getting supplies. When they realize they will have no potatoes for latkes at Hanukkah, they come across a cat and a dog. Despite the fact that they can't feed themselves, they take the pets in. In this spirit of sharing, the pets have a surprise of their own.
Unit 4 - Kenya and Fruits
Featured Book: Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne. (Candlewick Press, 1994. Paperback.) ISBN: 0 – 7636-0863-7. Handa carries seven delicious fruits to her friend Akeyo as a surprise. But thanks to some hungry animals she meets along the way, it’s Handa who’s in for a surprise!
Alternate Book: Mama Panya’s Pancakes: A Village Tale from Kenya by Mary Chamberlin and Rich Chamberlin. (Barefoot Books, 2006. Paperback.) ISBN: 1905236646. Mama Panya and her son, Adika, are going to the market to buy ingredients to make pancakes for dinner. A recipe, map, details about daily life, and facts about Kiswahili and Kenya are included.
Unit 5 - Greece and Milk
Featured Book:The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus by Aliki. (Harper Trophy, 1994. Paperback.) ISBN-13: 978-0-06-446189-4. Long ago in ancient Greece, people created stories - myths - to explain the mysteries of life. These myths told of gods and goddesses, fearful monsters, brave heroes, and mysterious beauties. The awesome Olympians of Greek mythology come to life as Aliki skillfully weaves many of the tales that have fascinated children for generations.
Alternate Book: Classic Myths to Read Aloud: The Great Stories of Greek and Roman Mythology, Specially Arranged for Children Five and Up by an Educational Expert by William F. Russell. (Three Rivers Press, 1992, Paperback.) ISBN: 0517588374. The most complete collection of Greek and Roman myths specially arranged to be read aloud.
Unit 6 - Japan and Meat & Beans
Featured Book: How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R. Friedman. (Houghton Mifflin, 1984. Paperback.) ISBN-10: 0395442354 ISBN-13: 978-0395442357 Friedman has created a delightful, original, and very funny book that goes far beyond simple table manners. Realistic yet slightly stylized illustrations are done in muted watercolors that catch the nuances of Japanese culture. The book is wonderfully thought-provoking in its portrayal of the subtle similarities and differences among cultures.
Alternate Book:The Story of Chopsticks by Yin Chang Compestine. (Holiday House, 2001. Hardcover.) ISBN: 0823415260. When Kuai cannot get enough to eat, he begins using sticks to grab food too hot for his hands, and soon all of China used chopsticks.
At http://mypyramid.gov, go inside the pyramid to each group color section to download and print pictures from picture gallery. It would be best to print on a color printer and laminate.
Or, purchase a set of educators full-color, serving-sized cardboard photos of 200 food models with nutritional information on the back of each (item # 0012N) from your regional Dairy and Food Council office or from the National Dairy Council, 10255 West Higgins Road, Suite 900. Rosemont, IL 60018-5616, or call 1-800-426-8271. Approximate cost is $25.00 – $36.00.
Or, instead of purchasing food models or downloading, substitute food pictures cut out from magazines, grocery ads, seed catalogs, etc., or color food shapes from coloring books or clip-art programs