In anticipation of another wonderful season at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market (which opens in May), this month’s focus is on farmers’ markets around the world. Here are a few recommendations:
by Lois Ehlert
Here is a book young children will enjoy. It tells the short tale of a farmer’s family rising in the morning, preparing for their day selling at the market, and then returning home.
The illustrations are perhaps most striking—the tableaux were created from folk art objects the author has collected from her trips around the world. These objects are both unusual and beautiful and encourage readers to pore over the pages. At the back of the book, you will find the objects pictured again with information about their countries of origin and what they are made from.
Catch that Goat: A Market Day in Nigeria
by Polly Alakija
This marvelous counting book takes us to a market in Ibadan, a city in Nigeria, where one of the largest tribes is the Yoruba people. Ayoka, a little girl, is looking for her runaway, naughty goat. As she searches, she comes upon many people in the market who are also missing things.
The illustrations fill the pages with scenes from the market and can launch a conversation about similarities and differences between the farmers’ market in Collingswood and the one in the book. Catch that Goat ends with several pages of information about the Yoruba tribe including their language, their dress, and of course, their market.
Market Days: From Market to Market Around the World
Concept and illustrations by Marii Shohet; text by Madhur Jaffrey
This book does a wonderful job of painting a picture of markets around the world in just a few brief pages. Readers travel internationally and learn about the colors of various spices sold in the markets of India, the importance of moving tentacles on the octopuses in markets in Hong Kong and how to judge a camel’s worth in a market on the Nile River.
The illustrations hint at the vibrancy of these markets, and the recipes at the back of the book offer you the opportunity to taste some of the food mentioned in the book. Many of the ingredients listed can, no doubt, be purchased right here in Collingswood at our farmers’ market.
Farmer’s Market: Families Working Together
by Marcie R. Rendon and Cheryl Walsh Bellville
Photographs by Cheryl Walsh Bellville
This interesting informational book focuses on two families who, over the course of a year, grow their own goods and bring them to the St. Paul’s Farmers Market in Minnesota. The Thao family are Hmong, originally from Laos, who immigrated to the United States in 1978. The Kornder family immigrated to America in the 1890s from northern Europe.
Although their histories may be different, both families are involved in working the land to provide produce, flowers and other products for the market. Reading about how these multi-generational families farm will teach children a great deal about how much work it takes to run a farm, how farmers’ work changes based on the season, and how the products at the farmers’ market changes as well.
The photographs help to bring these families’ daily life into focus, and children might be surprised by how much the Thao and the Kornder children are responsible for on their family farms!
With so many wonderful community activities taking place in and around Collingswood, this blog focuses on children’s books related to local events in order to support and expand children’s interest in them.