From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-King takes readers on a sparkling visual tour of the New Mexico chile fields. Her photos bring to the page the clarity and excitement of southwestern light, deep blue skies, rocky mountains and valleys, and bright green and red peppers. Amply illustrated, the book provides a brisk discussion of the plants, their historical background, and how they are grown and marketed, concluding with a description of the autumn harvest festival in the town of Hatch. An appendix gives notes on the chile heat index, a pronunciation guide, and a recipe. Endpapers show examples of 15 varieties of chiles. A good choice to expand a social studies unit, or simply to enjoy for its own sake.Ruth Semrau, formerly at Lovejoy School, Allen, TX
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3^-5. For a few days every summer, Hatch, New Mexico, hosts its annual chile festival and becomes the hot pepper capital of the world. King uses this event as a point of departure for a well-rounded look at the fiery fruit (yes, it is a fruit, not a vegetable). She explains the chile's history, cultivation, and growth cycle, the nature of its distinctive heat, and its importance in various cultures. Different varieties of the pod are illustrated and compared. The people of Hatch are shown growing, roasting, and selling chiles, as well as engaging in festival activities. King's text is clean and breezy, and her lustrous photographs enliven the attractive layout. A helpful pronunciation guide is provided at the back, along with a chile recipe and an explanation of the Scoville Heat Unit ratings. A piquant addition to the nonfiction shelves. Leone McDermott