Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

An Edible Alphabet: 26 Reasons to Love the Farm

An Edible Alphabet: 26 Reasons to Love the Farm

Carol Wattterson
Illustrator:  Michela Sorrentino 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 9
Tricycle Press, 2011   ISBN: 978-1582464213

Many people don’t really think too much about where their food comes from.  As far as we are concerned, milk comes in a plastic jug, meat comes wrapped in cellophane, and eggs come in a carton. We forget that most of what we eat is available because of farmers and the hard work that they do. Using an alphabet book format, this title looks at twenty-six reasons why we should “love the farm.”

The book begins with “Ants on asparagus.” Asparagus is a curious crop because it is not planted from seed. Instead, farmers harvest the stalks of the plants every season leaving the roots in the soil. These will grow new shoots in the following spring. Ants are part of this story because they too are farmers. Ants collect aphids, keeping them in ‘herds’ and ‘milking’ them for honeydew on a regular basis.

On the O page we see “Oh! Overalls in the Orchard.” The author tells us that farmers plant fruit trees in groups called orchards because this makes it “easier to care for them and harvest their fruit.” How could we enjoy a crisp eating apple or apple pie if farmers did not tend their orchards and gather the fruit by hand?

In this clever and fact-packed picture book, the information about food plants, animals, fish, farm equipment, and more is presented using a variety of formats, which makes the book interesting and engaging. You cannot guess what you are going to find on the next page. Will there be a description of how bees make honey, a poem about peas, or information about the largest farm pig on record.

This book is sure help children to better understand the vital role that farms and farmers play in our world.