Come and Eat!
By: George Ancona
Publisher: Charlesbridge, 2011
Age Level: 5-8
ISBN: 978-1-58089-366-1 (Hardcover), 978-1-58089-367-1 (Softcover)
We all eat to live, but not everyone goes about eating a meal the same way.
When, how, what, where, and why we eat differ from family to family, culture to culture, and country to country. So grab your appetite and get ready for a feast full of the tastiest food traditions, because you’re invited to come and eat!
“Ancona explores the universal activity of eating, but the accomplished master of the photo essay doesn’t add enough spice to this pot. Starting with an image of a nursing baby (but excluding a bottle-fed infant), photos of children and adults from different cultures are enclosed in circles and rectangles on white backgrounds. The clear photos highlight meal times, utensils, types of food and special celebrations, such as Hanukkah with its potato pancakes and St. Lucia’s Day with its saffron buns. Some double-page spreads feature large photos of people enjoying a meal with a corresponding detail of the foods. The most attractive one shows Nigerians dipping fufu, ground cassava root, into various meats and vegetables. Mealtime prayer is shown in photos of an interracial family saying grace and a Tibetan family praying before digging into their meat dumplings, momos. A Muslim gathering and a Polynesian luau depict examples of sharing and hospitality. The simple, straightforward text largely describes the photos, but there is no mention of how people get their food or the difficulty of getting enough to eat for some children and families. A few recipes would complement the attractive end papers with their checkerboard of food images. A solid repast for the primary-school curriculum but not zesty enough for many tastes.”
– Kirkus Reviews
“In a small, square-format book about kinds of food and ways of eating, bright photographs set within circular and rectangular frames depict children and adults eating alone, in groups, on the go, and in formal celebrations. Three workers eat simple lunches in the back of a pickup truck; a Japanese boy slurps noodles from a bowl; children roast marshmallows around a fire; and Nigerian diners sit on the floor to eat fufu, a cassava root paste. Ancona includes details about the cultures represented in each photograph (“Muslim friends remove their shoes to kneel on beautiful rugs to pray before sharing a meal”), providing not only a discussion about food diversity but also an intimate, globe-trotting tour.”
– Publishers Weekly