Thursday, April 18, 2013

Books for Cheflings: Let's Eat by Beatrice Hollyer

Each night before Sara goes to sleep she gets to choose five books (I ask her to pick five and usually she picks up about eleven) to read with us. Post which she likes to "read" them by herself. 

She is very particular that just like on her mum's bedside table she too on hers has her mobile, a food magazine (the mag and Sara are of the same size;  a tiny one that came with the newspaper) and a photoframe! This girl...I tell you!
At four she already has her huge collection of books. And a lot of them are food related. I shared these ones with you here.

Her current favorite is Let's Eat! What children eat around the world by Beatrice Hollyer.
The book takes you to the homes of five kids who stay in different parts of the world (France, India, Mexico,South Africa and Thailand) and how each spends her day and during the course of the day what each one eats. 

Simply put the book talks about the cities/villages that they belong to, their eating habits on weekdays and over weekends and what they like and what they dislike. 

But underneath all this is what I like about the book more. The differences and the similarities between their lives and where from the child can learn a lot.

How each child helps her parents during mealtimes, how there are certain foods that each one associates with celebrations at home ( we all do that, don't we...irrespective of latitudes and longitudes), how its fun to go and shop for food and make the right and a healthy choice. And how food shared with family and friends always leaves with one with beautiful and lifelong memories.

The child begins to appreciate the differences as well. Not only the how each country has a different cuisine but also how life is different in the city and at the farm and the hardships that the less privileged ones have to face. 

The book is written from the child's perspective and has real life pictures of her/his life which my little girl loves. At the end of the book is a food glossary and also  favorite recipes from each of the kids. 

Sara says her favorite is AA from Thailand and she loves AA's recipe for the Thai fried egg. And each morning she cooks one for herself (without the fish sauce mostly) while her mum is busy screaming Sara we are getting late for school. Oh and we love to point out each country on the globe too. She also says that the bit about Thembe makes her sad for the little girl has to work really hard each day.

One thing to keep in mind is that obviously a forty page book can't do justice to all the different food habits and living habits of each country. So its more to expose them to something that is different than theirs rather than a detailed study on culture and food and certain classifications that the book portrays (not so well off in one part of the world).

The one on India did disappoint me. I think it may not be a bad idea for Sara and me to rewrite that bit soon:) 

About the author: Journalist,writer and newscaster she began her career in South Africa before moving to UK where lives now.Other books by her for children are : Our world of water and Wake up World.

Image: here and  a bad one taken with my phone.

While you enjoy reading this post with visuals.Please do not use them without asking. They belong to Orange Kitchens unless otherwise stated.

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