Monday, February 18, 2013

Nonfiction Monday: The vegetables we eat by Gail Gibbons

Thanks to the unseasonably warm weather we've been having, I'm updating our gardening, cooking, and general vegetation materials a little early. This one was listed in a suggestion article in SLJ.

It starts with definitions of vegetables and plant terms, including annual, perennial, different types of vegetable from flower bud (cauliflower) to stem (celery) and then devotes separate spreads to the various types of vegetables. Leaf vegetables, bulb, flower bud, root, tuber, stem, fruit vegetables (squash, tomatoes, etc.) and seed. Each of these sections shows pictures of a variety of vegetables, including two small insets, one showing one of the vegetables as a whole plant, the other showing people eating them.

There's a separate page on soybeans, then instructions for growing your own vegetable garden and some pages on commercial vegetable farms and where/how people buy vegetables. The final page includes a variety of vegetable facts.

This book is for very young listeners, so I didn't feel the lack of back matter was a problem, and it is from 2006 so I'd expect it to be a bit dated, but it's just a little too dated. Gibbons' art style really doesn't work for me and her illustrations look messy and hard to define compared to, say, April Pulley Sayre's Rah Rah Radishes . Since a large part of the book is identifying the different types of vegetables, I would have thought a more simplistic, photographic or realistic art style would be appropriate. The people look very 80s somehow. Again, while I get that this book is for very young children, the gardening portion says nothing about composting, good/bad pests, worms, organic gardening (or non-organic, except to say that in big farms "Farmers fertilize the soil" and in the first picture "Fertilizers are added to the soil").

Verdict: I took a look at this one because it was recommended by SLJ, but for my library's needs and my own tastes in nonfiction, I have to say Gail Gibbons' style is dated and I am unlikely to purchase any more of her titles in the near future. Except holiday books, I still get those.

ISBN: 9780823420018; Published 2006 by Holiday House; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

1 comment:

Tammy Flanders said...

Thanks. I appreciate your opinion.
Apples with Many Seeds