K-Gr 3–This is an ambitious undertaking—showing children how sustainable farming can provide healthy food that is in harmony with nature. The book profiles 12 farms around the world and showcases practices used by Indigenous people as well as cutting-edge projects in farming. A salt farm on Kaui and a fish farm along the Jurena river in western Brazil show the importance of looking back to earlier harvesting practices that focused on the rhythms of the seasons as well as the natural gifts of the Earth. Some of the new farming ideas use native plants (the Food Forest in Kenya) or store rainwater run-off (human-made pits in India) to create farms or practices attuned to the local ecosystem. There are also farms using modern breakthroughs, such as a four-story greenhouse in Singapore or an undersea hydroponic farm in Italy, to expand ideas of farming. Every farm appears in a spread with a rhyming couplet to describe it and one definition bubble. Given the brevity of the rhyming couplet, readers must use the back pages to fully understand the concept of each farm. The illustrations are reminiscent of Christian Robinson’s work, depicting diverse people and environments with flat areas of vibrant color and simple lines. VERDICT An exciting overview of traditional and innovative farming techniques that will warrant repeated reading, for casual browsing or classroom use.
–Sally A. James
Mia Wenjen is the author of Pragmatic Mom.