Food For the Future: Sustainable Farms Around the World
It is clear that a tremendous amount of thought and research went into the creation of Food For the Future by Mia Wenjen. There are 12 farms from around the globe highlighted in the book, which differ from average farms because they are sustainable. The author respectfully includes centuries-old farming traditions, explaining how and why they developed and are still relevant today. But she also adds new, innovative farming techniques that have been adopted to deal with the changing climate conditions around the world. And they all give us optimism that there will be Food for the Future!
Many notable features of this book make it accessible to a broad spectrum of children. For the youngest children, the rhyming text will engage them. And although the author uses vocabulary that may seem a bit advanced for a younger audience, it is necessary to convey the concepts in the book. However, to aid the younger readers, she defines the term on the pages where they are introduced. In addition, she includes pronunciation guides for words unfamiliar to the average reader of her book. Having the definitions and pronunciations on the pages with the text allows the book to flow naturally.
The back matter of this book is extensive and helps to stretch the book to an older age group than is typical of many picture books. Sustainable farming is extensively defined, and topics such as food justice, food insecurity, and climate change are introduced, providing a foundation for further in-depth discussions. A map depicting the locations of the sustainable farms discussed gives a lesson in world geography and an understanding of how our world is interconnected. Then more detail is provided for each type of sustainable farm introduced in the book by answering these four questions:
Where does it come from?
How does it work?
Why is it sustainable?
Did you know? (Which includes interesting facts related to that type of farm.)
Creating an entertaining, engaging, diverse book that is also chock full of information and provides a springboard for a myriad of relevant discussions is no small feat. Yet, Mia Wenjen has done just that in her delightful and notable new book Food For the Future: Sustainable Farms Around the World, published by Barefoot Books. The rhyming text combines with playful, quirky, colorful illustrations and rich, detailed back matter to create a book that is a complete package deserving space on every bookshelf.
Author: Mia Wenjen
Illustrator: Robert Sae-Heng
Published by Barefoot Books 2023
The author, Mia Wenjen, generously gifted me with a signed, hardback copy of her book for this review.