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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars47
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on December 17, 2008
This is the kid's version of Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. It has the same photos and similar text to the adult version, so if you've read Hungry Planet you don't need to pick this one up. If you're shopping for an adult reader or an older teen, pick Hungry Planet up instead of this one. They are very, very similar.

The layout is the same as Hungry Planet: A photo of a family with a week's worth of groceries, a text list of their grocery bill, and a passage discussing the role of food in their lives. Sprinkled throughout the book are recipes from the featured families.The highlight of this book for me were all the beautiful photos. It's certainly pretty enough to be a "coffee table book."

All in all, this book is food writing, cookery, travel writing, and a sociological study all rolled into one. Half a star off for some typological errors. A visually appealing book, wonderful for a child curious about the world and its people.
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on September 26, 2008
After seeing it mentioned in a magazine article, I got this book from our local library. It is nothing short of amazing. Not only do I find it interesting but all three of my children - ages 9, 12 and 16 - have picked it up on their own to read and share with visiting friends. I'm actually coming to Amazon right now to buy it as a Christmas gift for all my relatives and one for our school library. It's beautifully photographed and very interesting. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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on August 15, 2008
What the World Eats may have a simple premise, but its images and lessons are as sophisticated as they are influential. As its premise, the book offers a glimpse of the food expenditures and eating habits of twenty-five households in twenty-one countries of different degrees of economic development around the world. Menzel and D'Aluisio photographed and observed each household as it acquired one week's worth of food and prepared meals. The book clearly communicates the extent to which families in lower-income countries rely mostly on grains and produce, while higher incomes lead to the addition of meats, dairy, sugar, fats, and processed foods and beverages to the diet. Accompanying these dietary changes along the income scale are large increases in the incidence of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

The stunning photographs, detailed text descriptions, informative charts, and strategic visual displays all contribute to important lessons that are thoroughly integrated into a format that will engross adults and children alike. The reader is left better informed not only about the enormous variation among the world's people in what they eat, but also in their use of time and in their overall standard of living. This knowledge can make us better equipped to improve our food choices, reduce food waste, and think about productive ways to fight hunger globally.
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on January 7, 2010
As a homeschooling mom to 5, we have this and the Material World book with the curriculum guides and power point presentations that open up years of creative writing and social studies and geography work.
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on February 15, 2010
I agree with the reviewer that said to get Hungry Planet instead if it's for older kids. But this version makes the material more accessible for younger children. Food offers a concrete way to relate to other cultures. The photos of families with a week's worth of groceries bring out cultural differences and make differences in affluence vivid and explicit. When my six-year-old daughter saw the photo of one family from a refugee camp with their meager sacks of food--in dramatic contrast to the abundant array of colorful packaged foods surrounding the families of developed countries--she asked, bewildered, "why do they have so little?" (Um, do you want the short answer to that, or the long answer?) There are so many ways to compare the photos and think about differences in diet. Every photo seems to tell many stories, often surprising. The book helps children understand poverty, malnutrition, and the industrial food system, but also invites them to marvel at the fascinating variety of food worldwide, and develop curiosity about other cultures.
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on June 5, 2009
We got this book for our 5th grader for Christmas and she absolutely loves it. She doesn't read it cover to cover but picks it up regularly, reads about a few families, and tells us about the amazing facts that she has learned about life in other countries. Both fascinating and educational for kids. We highly recommend this book for middle school-aged children.
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on June 1, 2014
Great coffee table book that is very interesting to read or simply flip through the pages. The stark difference to some countries and the amazing similarities to others jumps out at you immediately as look through the pages. I bought this copy as a gift for a friend and they absolutely love it. Foodies and food curious alike will enjoy this.
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on July 14, 2015
What a lovely and fascinating book! I had seen posters of the photos from the book of each family with their week's worth of food in Social Studies classrooms, so when I saw the book, I wanted to read it. The book has photos of families from 21 different countries along with a week's worth of food that their family eats and statistics including the cost of the food and facts about each country. There are additional facts and photos and graphs of things like annual meat consumption and obesity rates. The book is really quite interesting and well done.
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on October 23, 2013
having purchased all of the menzel-d'aluisio books, i can honestly say the world is a better place because of them.

every single book is a conversation starter, beautiful, knowledgeable, and eye-opening.

this seller is trustworthy and professional.

i'm very pleased.
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on June 18, 2013
I first read "Material World" and have since read many of their other books. This is another great one in the series. Their powerful photographs really capture so much. There is no way to show the diversity in each country with one or two families...so I think it must be taken with that caution - especially when using with kids.
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