Feast your eyes;Reviews;Books
Food is clearly vital for life, but rarely do we place it at the centre of a topic study. It is, however, the main stimulus in both these series, aimed at pupils aged from seven to 11. In the What's for Lunch? books in particular, there are numerous connections made between the food and the way the society works: "Sweetcorn and maize products often travel many miles before being eaten;" "Insects sometimes eat the rice. Farmers use insecticides to kill the insects."
Each foodstuff in the series is studied in this way. We don't just see the food being consumed, but look at how it is grown, processed, distributed and, in some cases, marketed. The books each contain a useful glossary and index.
The Around the World titles spread their net wider. These are a feast, depicting mostly children digging into bowls of food in every corner of the globe.
The text is little more than an extended caption, but valuable nonetheless. There are also helpful glossaries, indexes and topic web pages on how to develop the subject. An opening map also helps to place the foodstuffs. Both series omit any suggestion of lack of food in the world.
Graham Hart is a former teacher and freelance writer