My 5 year-old’s current favorite book has no words. It’s called Food Play, by Joost Elffers and Saxton Freymann (Chronicle). It is a compilation of photographs of brilliantly simple, playfully carved fruits and vegetables. It needs no words, and in fact is better without, allowing kids’ (and grown-ups’) imaginations to take over. For years (the book came out in 2006) he has sat on his bed and flipped through the book, fascinated by its images. He now seeks out fruits and vegetables with a little character.
It’s astonishing how many fruits and vegetables do have a little face in them, if you look. Food Play follows the best-selling Food for Thought, How Are You Peeling? (Scholastic Bookshelf) and Fast Food, all completely irresistible and a great source of inspiration to look deeper into the fruit basket. I recommend them all for young kids.
On a recent rainy weekend, we got out a jar of dry black-eyed peas (which make perfect googly eyes) and a few small knives and spent a chunk of afternoon carving hilarious faces out of the fruit and veg in our fruit bowl and crisper. Why wait for Halloween?
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