BOOK REVIEWS

Eat Up!: An Infographic Exploration of Food (A Visual Exploration) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-15 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:1554518830
LANGUAGE:English

"A miscellany of just about anything related to food presented through infographics.

The Good: Bright and colorful pages draw readers in. Infographics are things kids are getting more and more into and familiar with. And kids are insatiably curious. One of the top checked out sections in our elementary library is the 031.02 section (and for those who don’t speak Dewey, that’s the curiosity and wonders section where National Geographic’s Weird But True books, Ripley’s Believe It or Not books, Almanacs and other such things are shelved). This is designed to appeal to kids, and it will likely succeed in grabbing their attention.

However…

The Bad: As an adult I had some issues with the facts presented. I found some of it misleadingly presented, and at a level where the target audience isn’t going to catch on. The target readers are kids who tend to believe everything in a book is 100% true. The whole first chapter is speculation on the ancient past, man’s eating preferences, and agriculture development. That’s fine if you present it as theories, not facts. They even had a page where they give a time frame, and then as a side note at the end of the spread they just casually drop in that ‘Oh, this might have really been 10,000 years earlier.’ Why even give the previous dates if you know they might be off? Especially to an impressionable and easily confused audience? Here’s another great example. They bring up international food trade, and they make it seem like international food trade started in the 1960s. So all that shuttling back and forth of food in WWII, not to mention sugar, spices and such which drove a lot of the 15th century exploration, that was…what exactly? Oh, well if you stick with the book for 20 more pages they clarify a teensy bit, but not very well. Worst of all, that wasn’t even the point of the food trade page spread. It was really about solving food supply issues in the 1960s. It just was not presented very clearly. And again, kids aren’t the most discerning audience. Probably the prime example of how the writing is not put together in the best way is in the hybrid vs. GMO comparison chart they provide. You would think that things parallel in the chart would say parallel things, but they don’t. For example, one side says “bred to have the best qualities of each parent” and the other says, “plants grown from GMO seeds are not exactly like the original plants.” If they were trying to be fair, they should have put BOTH of those statements for both sides. (And it wasn’t just that one line of this chart, most of the lines were not equal in their statements.) At this point I was 1/3 of the way through the book and done. I skimmed the rest.

The book is trying to educate kids on a lot of hot topics related to food, basically if it’s related to food and been in the news lately, it’s in here. Things like GMO vs hybrid, factory farming, undocumented farm workers, buying local vs grocery chains, farming and pollution, etc. Oh, and every once in a while a page on just normal food stuff, like taste. It’s great to make kids aware of things to think about and current events. They need to know how to navigate their world intelligently. BUT this shows a definite bias in many areas…and in such a way kids are likely to miss that bias. I like it much better when books just give kids the facts or opinions of both sides fairly and let kids be their own judges (this supposedly presents both sides of several issues, like GMO vs hybrid, but it wasn’t always fair). This feels tricky. That may not have been the authors' intent at all, it’s just how it comes off. We all have a bias, and we’re frequently unaware of that. I get that. The authors clearly show skill in their writing. So really, it’s probably more the editor’s fault for not catching things and pointing out they weren’t being fair. If you’re handing this to a kid, you’re going to have to also train them how to do their own fact-checking research (which is a great and necessary skill) but is going to take away the fun of reading. So if you want to teach on how to examine writing with a bias or fact checking, you could use this. You could also probably find articles that present the other side, and have kids research which side they think is best. If kids are just curious about food, though, have them read something else instead. Personally, I’m going to direct readers to The World in Your Lunch box or Food Anatomy (which incidentally, this book seems to try and be the kid version of kinda, just more hot topic oriented…just let them read the original).

I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
" said.

"Eat Up: An Infographic Exploration of Food by Paula Ayer, Antonia Banyard, and Belle Wuthrich is currently scheduled for release on April 11 2017. This middle grade non fiction book is a colorful infographic look at the many surprising and fascinating facts about food. Information is presented in easy-to-understand graphics and clear explanations. Each spread explores a different aspect of the topic. Readers will find answers to a wide range of questions, including: Who grows our food? Where does our meat and fish come from? How does it get to us? What’s the difference between a hybrid and a genetically-modified crop? How do companies advertise to children? Who are the “Big 10” food companies? How much farmland is there across the world? Weightier topics (for example, farming and pollution, or child labor in agriculture), are balanced out by fun facts, such as “extreme foods” and how our sense of taste works (and sometimes deceives us). Other topics include how food production has an impact on the local and global economy, access to food and food insecurity around the world, and conventional vs. organic farming. Vibrant, dynamic illustrations, diagrams and photos and small chunks of text make this book ideal for reluctant or struggling readers.

Eat Up: An Infographic Exploration of Food was an interesting read with graphics that caught the eye, and a good combination of thought provoking facts and fun or surprising information that is a little lighter. I knew a good portion of the information, but there were still bits of information and ideas that made me stop and think a little more about the food in my house. I found the organization and graphics of the book to be very understandable and accessible by readers in elementary school, but not boring or too easy for more advanced readers. This book hits that sweet spot of interesting and engaging for readers from a variety of ages and skill levels.
" said.

" Infographics are a fun way to learn new things and this book is full of them. The layout is a bit busy, but overall it's a great book.I received an ARC from NetGalley. " said.

"Eat Up!: An Infographic Exploration of Food by Paula Ayer; Antonia Banyard is colorful and has many interesting facts about food. The information is presented in a way that children can understand but the pages are a bit cluttered. Readers will have the ability to learn where food is grown, where meat comes from, how the food gets to the store. This is a book that will allow for basic learning and will cause the reader to study further.

The book has vibrant pictures and diagrams that will catch reluctant readers attention.

I received the advanced reader's copy from Annick Press Ltd. and Annick Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
" said.

"'Eat Up' by Paula Ayer and Antonia Banyard with illustrations by Bell Wuthrich is an infographic filled book for kids all about food.

The book covers a lot of ground in less than 100 pages. There are chapters about early hunting and gathering, farming and where food comes from, and being savvy to the way food is marketed. How food production affects the environment is covered as well as some information about food around the world.

I appreciate a kids book that is fun, educational, and not overly preachy about things. This hits the right balance. There are serious subjects and fun ones to balance things out. As I mentioned before, they cover a lot in such a short page count.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Annick Press Ltd. and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
" said.

"Infographics present facts so they are easy to digest, pun intended. So this book of infographics or perhaps factoids, as they say on the BBC, is just that. A series of easy to understand statements about the food that we so often take for granted.

Ans since it is written for middle-school or perhaps even elementary school level, all the facts are very easy to understand. Yes, as one reviewer said, it does lean towards teaching kids to eat unprocessed, or minimally processed food, or to grow your own, but it is important to offer those points of view as well.

Good book to have in the library or classroom to give a good overview of the world we live in, and eat.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
" said.

"A miscellany of just about anything related to food presented through infographics.

The Good: Bright and colorful pages draw readers in. Infographics are things kids are getting more and more into and familiar with. And kids are insatiably curious. One of the top checked out sections in our elementary library is the 031.02 section (and for those who don’t speak Dewey, that’s the curiosity and wonders section where National Geographic’s Weird But True books, Ripley’s Believe It or Not books, Almanacs and other such things are shelved). This is designed to appeal to kids, and it will likely succeed in grabbing their attention.

However…

The Bad: As an adult I had some issues with the facts presented. I found some of it misleadingly presented, and at a level where the target audience isn’t going to catch on. The target readers are kids who tend to believe everything in a book is 100% true. The whole first chapter is speculation on the ancient past, man’s eating preferences, and agriculture development. That’s fine if you present it as theories, not facts. They even had a page where they give a time frame, and then as a side note at the end of the spread they just casually drop in that ‘Oh, this might have really been 10,000 years earlier.’ Why even give the previous dates if you know they might be off? Especially to an impressionable and easily confused audience? Here’s another great example. They bring up international food trade, and they make it seem like international food trade started in the 1960s. So all that shuttling back and forth of food in WWII, not to mention sugar, spices and such which drove a lot of the 15th century exploration, that was…what exactly? Oh, well if you stick with the book for 20 more pages they clarify a teensy bit, but not very well. Worst of all, that wasn’t even the point of the food trade page spread. It was really about solving food supply issues in the 1960s. It just was not presented very clearly. And again, kids aren’t the most discerning audience. Probably the prime example of how the writing is not put together in the best way is in the hybrid vs. GMO comparison chart they provide. You would think that things parallel in the chart would say parallel things, but they don’t. For example, one side says “bred to have the best qualities of each parent” and the other says, “plants grown from GMO seeds are not exactly like the original plants.” If they were trying to be fair, they should have put BOTH of those statements for both sides. (And it wasn’t just that one line of this chart, most of the lines were not equal in their statements.) At this point I was 1/3 of the way through the book and done. I skimmed the rest.

The book is trying to educate kids on a lot of hot topics related to food, basically if it’s related to food and been in the news lately, it’s in here. Things like GMO vs hybrid, factory farming, undocumented farm workers, buying local vs grocery chains, farming and pollution, etc. Oh, and every once in a while a page on just normal food stuff, like taste. It’s great to make kids aware of things to think about and current events. They need to know how to navigate their world intelligently. BUT this shows a definite bias in many areas…and in such a way kids are likely to miss that bias. I like it much better when books just give kids the facts or opinions of both sides fairly and let kids be their own judges (this supposedly presents both sides of several issues, like GMO vs hybrid, but it wasn’t always fair). This feels tricky. That may not have been the authors' intent at all, it’s just how it comes off. We all have a bias, and we’re frequently unaware of that. I get that. The authors clearly show skill in their writing. So really, it’s probably more the editor’s fault for not catching things and pointing out they weren’t being fair. If you’re handing this to a kid, you’re going to have to also train them how to do their own fact-checking research (which is a great and necessary skill) but is going to take away the fun of reading. So if you want to teach on how to examine writing with a bias or fact checking, you could use this. You could also probably find articles that present the other side, and have kids research which side they think is best. If kids are just curious about food, though, have them read something else instead. Personally, I’m going to direct readers to The World in Your Lunch box or Food Anatomy (which incidentally, this book seems to try and be the kid version of kinda, just more hot topic oriented…just let them read the original).

I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
" said.

"Eat Up: An Infographic Exploration of Food by Paula Ayer, Antonia Banyard, and Belle Wuthrich is currently scheduled for release on April 11 2017. This middle grade non fiction book is a colorful infographic look at the many surprising and fascinating facts about food. Information is presented in easy-to-understand graphics and clear explanations. Each spread explores a different aspect of the topic. Readers will find answers to a wide range of questions, including: Who grows our food? Where does our meat and fish come from? How does it get to us? What’s the difference between a hybrid and a genetically-modified crop? How do companies advertise to children? Who are the “Big 10” food companies? How much farmland is there across the world? Weightier topics (for example, farming and pollution, or child labor in agriculture), are balanced out by fun facts, such as “extreme foods” and how our sense of taste works (and sometimes deceives us). Other topics include how food production has an impact on the local and global economy, access to food and food insecurity around the world, and conventional vs. organic farming. Vibrant, dynamic illustrations, diagrams and photos and small chunks of text make this book ideal for reluctant or struggling readers.

Eat Up: An Infographic Exploration of Food was an interesting read with graphics that caught the eye, and a good combination of thought provoking facts and fun or surprising information that is a little lighter. I knew a good portion of the information, but there were still bits of information and ideas that made me stop and think a little more about the food in my house. I found the organization and graphics of the book to be very understandable and accessible by readers in elementary school, but not boring or too easy for more advanced readers. This book hits that sweet spot of interesting and engaging for readers from a variety of ages and skill levels.
" said.

October 2017 New Book:

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