Saturday, August 25, 2018

Kid Konnection: Food Fight!

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week I'm going to share with you a fun picture book about some adorable dinosaurs -- I also featured one last week!

Summary: Grab your knife and fork and get ready to dig in to human history through the lens of food and the struggle to acquire it with award-winning celebrity food editor and author Tanya Steel. This book includes 30 kid-tested and approved recipes inside!

Did you know that Christopher Columbus set out on his most famous voyage in search not of the new world, but cinnamon? Or that rich people in the Middle Ages served flaming peacocks and spun sugar castles to their lucky dinner party guests? Did you ever wonder why M&Ms were invented? (Hint: That candy coating isn't just for decoration!) The quest for food has inspired all kinds of adventures and misadventures around the world, and this book explores the wildest and wackiest of them all, from prehistoric times through modern day.

Hungry readers can go on a finger-licking romp through the ages to discover the origins of today's common foods, yucky habits of yore, marvelous inventions that changed the way we ate and cooked, and the weirdest menus on record. Amazing stats and fast food facts are featured throughout, along with 30 original recipes, each specific to a particular time and place. So, if you are curious about how food shaped global history and culture, put this book on the menu. -- National Geographic

I reviewed some unusual books over the years on Booking Mama, but FOOD FIGHT!: A MOUTHWATERING HISTORY OF WHO ATE WHAT AND WHY THROUGH THE AGES by Tanya Steel might just be the strangest. I don't mean that in a negative way. I just never thought I'd be reviewing a book about the history of food or what people have eaten throughout the years!

FOOD FIGHT! is a fascinating look at one thing we all have in common -- hunger and food! This oversized hardcover book begins explaining just how hard our ancestors worked to find food, and how much easier we have it now. It goes without saying that food has changed throughout time, and it's definitely different depending on where you live. FOOD FIGHT! teaches kids all about the history of food while also providing loads of fun (and interesting) anecdotes.

The book is divided into the following chapters: The Prehistoric Era, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Medieval Times, Mongols & the Silk Road, The Renaissance, America Revolts, The French Revolution, World War I, America's Great Depression, The World at War, Again. The Sixties, and Future World. It also includes 30 recipes, a food timeline, and suggestions for further reading. Personally, I can't believe how much information about food exists in FOOD FIGHT's 150+ pages!

I love FOOD FIGHT! It's a truly educational book for kids of all ages, and by all ages, I mean adults too. I learned so much and the beginning of foods we eat today as well as inventions that changed the way we eat (think fire!). In addition, there's some pretty strange stuff in the book too that's certain to appeal to even the most reluctant of readers like weirdest menus on records and some pretty disgusting food habits!

I have always been fascinated by ancient Rome so I decided to go straight to that section. This section (and every other suggestion) begins with a "Bite-Size History" of the time period and a "Day in the Life." The following pages are all about food! There's a list of common foods eaten in Rome during this period as well as some information about how the Romans got their food. There are also sections on tools, menus of the rich and famous, and a "By the Numbers" sidebar which explains the cost of food as well as what was a typical daily food portion for a Roman soldier.

And there's more! I suspect most kids will enjoy the Yucky Habits of Yore section the most. This graphic has some interesting tidbits including some about Romans and urine. (That's all I'm saying about that!) Finally, the chapter on ancient Rome includes recipes for Apicius' Apricot Delight and Hail Caesar Chicken Salad as well as a fun little quiz to see how much the reader learned!

The rest of the chapters in FOOD FIGHT! follow a similar format and are equally as interesting. I especially enjoyed the section on the 1960s which include many of my childhood favorites and some not-so-favorites! FOOD FIGHT! is one of those books that you can read straight through or flip through and take in the fun facts. It's up to the reader how to best enjoy this book, but no matter how he or she decides to read it, there are many hours of educational entertainment.

FOOD FIGHT! will be available on September 11th. It's one of my all-time favorite National Geographic Kids' book, and I think it's a must-have for home and school libraries. Highly recommended!

Thanks to Media Masters Publicity for providing a review copy of this book.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


bermudaonion said...

I got this last week and can't wait to dive in. I love Nat Geo books!

Karlie said...

I know a nephew of yours that would love this!