Monday, August 7, 2017
Age Range: 3 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Holiday House; 1st edition (2001)
Author: Kathleen Krull
School Library Journal
Information about this most frequent and important shopping place ranges from the early history of crops the Pilgrims learned to grow through the amazing, rich variety of products available today. The electric-eye doors open wide, and the shopping carts, piloted by people of all ages and types, roll in a jolly parade through a vast complex of bottles, boxes, cans, baked goods, fresh produce, dairy products, meats, and nonfood items to their final destination, the checkout counters. Added to this munificent display are all kinds of interesting facts about the food pyramid, the journey from field to unloading dock, the evolution of food marketing from barter to superstore, manager and employee activities behind the scenes, festive foods for holidays, and lots of pertinent statistics. Written in a clear and lively style, the text is printed in several typefaces and appears on boxes, bulletin boards, an ice-cream carton, etc., as well as in the usual places at the top and bottom of the pages, a format perfectly suited to the variety of subjects covered. Best of all, however, are the vibrant double-page gouache cartoon-style pictures using flat, decorative forms. Lots of busy people wander among the brilliantly colored arrangements of shapes and sizes for tremendous eye appeal. The only thing lacking is shoppers jabbering on their cell phones.
If you lined up all the boxes of macaroni and cheese sold each year, the line would stretch from Los Angeles to New York and back again--more than 9 times." This is just one of the interesting tidbits found in this behind-the-scenes look at the neighborhood supermarket. The main text briefly relates the story of how food gets from farm to shelf. After that, it's a hodgepodge of information that many youngsters will find interesting. Additional text is placed within the gouache illustrations: for example, information on states famous for producing a particular food appears inside an outline map of the U.S. that is located on the side of a farm building. The artwork, filled to the brim with colorful products and active people, features a wonderful variety of signs that will encourage kids to practice reading and math; it can also be used to introduce the concept of advertising. Schools near a supermarket can extend this with a walking field trip.