At the East Bay French-American School in Berkeley, California, the students and teachers grow a garden of delicious herbs and vegetables. Their curriculum includes tasting, cooking, and eating the harvest to establish a connection between the earth and daily life. This well-put-together book teaches even gardening novices how to do it, too. The book features colorful line drawings, photographs of the kids in action, delicious recipes that even five-year-olds can help prepare, and great little sidebars on subjects as diverse as "Composting," "How Flowers Drink," and how to hold a "First Sprout Party."
The difficulty of getting children raised in an urban environment to understand and appreciate where their food comes from presents a real challenge to teachers. The East Bay French-American School in Berkeley, California, has instituted a project to combine gardening and cooking into a learning experience for children ages 5 to 12. Students participate in planting, cultivating, harvesting, and cooking the produce of their school plots. Children are less likely to respond "Yuck!" when confronted with vegetables they have raised from seed themselves. The Brennans recount the school's success with this gardening program and catalog the most suitable plants for a children's school garden plot. A few simple recipes offer encouragement to parents with children who want to help out in the kitchen. The Brennans' work provides a useful resource for many sorts of school and library nature programs. Mark Knoblauch