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The Children's Bookshelf: Delicious! Poems Celebrating Street Food Around the World - October 4, 2021

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DELICIOUS! Poems Celebrating Street Food Around the World cleverly written by Julie Larios and illustrated with eye-popping color by Julie Paschkis is a scrumptious picture book full of tastes, smells, and mouth-watering licks!

Readers will visit street vendors around the world from a breakfast market in Mexico, a bike vendor in Morocco and a street hawker in Greece to carts in the park in New York and food by the sea in Israel. Each of the 14 spreads hosts a short poem on one side and pictures of street hawkers selling and people enjoying food on the other side. This fun book is visually colorful, alive to the ear and full of cultural information.

The spread that is devoted to a poem entitled Saffron Tea tells the story about a food tradition on trains in Mumbai, India. It reads: “Saffron tea/from a red clay cup/buy it quick/Drink it up”. The back material tells the complete story about how trains in India slow to a stop so passengers can jump off and buy a cup of tea---- and jump back on board all within two minutes!

Stadium Dog, a poem about Boston, Massachusetts reads: “Franks with relish/ at Fenway Park/ going, going, gone----and home before dark.” The back material here tells the reader that 800,000 Fenway Franks are sold every baseball season.

DELICIOUS! Poems Celebrating Street Food Around the World speaks to many street food traditions including Lemon slushies in Australia, figs and dates in Morocco, kimchee in South Korea and deep-fried scorpions in China. This book is designed for readers 4-8 years of age (Beach Lane Books/ Simon and Schuster, 2021).

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and the Activity Questions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

Activity Questions for Delicious Food! Poems Celebrating Street Food Around the World

Street food can be found in parks, on city streets, in baseball stadiums and in neighborhoods. Think about the following places and try to remember the taste of these foods: a hot dog at a baseball stadium, an ice cream on a stick from a truck visiting your neighborhood, a lemonade-stand on a lawn, a cool drink of water on a beach and a breakfast taco at an open-air market. Then, draw a picture of you tasting one of these outdoor treats.

If you could be a street food seller, what would you want to sell and how would you sell it? Make up the words or poem or song you would use to get people’s attention and sell your food. Invite your parents to get involved by thinking of a food to sell and making up their individual street cry. Have fun!

Look at all the street foods mentioned in this book again. Which three would you most like to taste? Why? (Older readers: remember food can have a sweet, sour, salty, bitter or savory taste).

Sue Ann Martin is professor emerita of Communication and Dramatic Arts and the founding and past Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. She first became interested in children’s literature when she wrote her PhD thesis on the oral characteristics of the Caldecott Award-winning children’s books. Her PhD is in Speech and Interpretation with a cognate in Early Childhood Education. She went on to review children’s books for the Detroit Free Press, write three popular resource books for teachers regarding children’s books and the creative process. She also reviewed newly-published books for Arts Almanac specials on WCMU Public Radio. Her 2002 children’s books special for WCMU won a Merit Award in Special Interest Programming from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.