Yum! ¡MmMm! ¡Qué Rico!
This lively and engaging concept book presents 14 delicious foods native
to the Americas. Author Pat Mora provides a paragraph of information
about the source of each food along with descriptions and use. (Did
you know the Aymara Indians of Bolivia developed over 200 varieties
of potatoes? Did you know a papaya can weigh as much as 20 pounds?)
She supplements the informative paragraph with a haiku for each food.
Award-winning illustrator Rafael López contributes glowing, vivid
and magical illustrations to engage a child's interest.
The foods are presented in alphabetical order from blueberries to vanilla.
The colors are bright and pure. The people represent the cultures of
the Americas. The landscapes are exciting. There are children flying
through the air on the back of a giant bluebird or diving into a chocolate
cake; there is even a dancing pineapple. This book is like a party on
Although haiku is an unusual choice, it works quite well. When read
aloud, the paragraphs about each food hold the reader's attention, but
might be somewhat dry if presented alone. However, just as a child might
feel as if he or she had learned enough about tomatoes, for example,
Squirts seedy, juicy splatter
Red bursts in your mouth.
This book could actually be used as a beginning ethnobotanical text--the
information is that good--and there is a reason. Mora credits her husband,
anthropologist Vern Scarborough, who teaches a course on the Origins
of Agriculture, and Tucson's own Gary Paul Nabhan, ethnobotanist extraordinaire
and author of Gathering the Desert, for their assistance.
In the classroom, Yum! ¡MmMm! ¡Qué Rico!
could be used to supplement a study of the food products of different
countries within the Americas, perhaps as an alternative to the traditional
Thanksgiving story. It would also lend itself very well to a study of
the haiku form if a class were doing a unit on poetry. Haiku, with its
17 syllables, is a simple form to grasp and can be written by teachers
and children together as a group activity, or quite easily by students
in small groups or alone.
About the Book | Booktalk
| Children's Voices | About