Review Blog

Apr 16 2009

How to drink from a frog and other things you need to know about food by Michael Cox

cover image

A ; C Black, 2009.
(Ages: 10-12) Laugh out loud at this hilarious take on food, how we eat it and why we eat as well as what we should eat, with the author taking us on a seriously bizarre meander through facts, stories and myths about food. From the first chapter which outlines lots of facts about food (did you know that during the siege of Leningrad in 1942, people boiled up their shoes to make a sort of soup, and other information which you must read for yourself!!) while chapter three tells us about overindulgence (did you know that Elvis Presley in his last years, ate 94,000 calories a day!) or that we will eat up to 60,000 kilos of food in our lifetime (chapter four) Entitled From spearing to rearing, chapter five is not quite what I expected. The pages devoted to the Chicago Meat Works are most enlightening, almost enough to make me a vegetarian on the spot. And on it goes, with delicious snippets of information, details on what we should eat, and how we should eat it.
It's recent enough to talk about food miles, food labeling, and trans fat, so kids reading this will have the latest information to absorb. Teachers could have great fun with students reading a little to them just before recess or lunch, or doing some of the experiments detailed in the book, or using the quiz at the end. The book is multi purpose, readily offering lots of things for teachers and students to do in their pursuit of the truth behind advertising, fast food, and in particular what they really should eat for good health. Bites of information loom large in this appealing book, which gives primary school readers lots to think about as they talk about health, diet, food and nutrition in class. Its alluring cover and loads of little illustrations scattered throughout the book will aid in its instant appeal.
Fran Knight

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