I get ecstatic this time of year – especially in September – due to birthdays, the first day of fall, and the slow appearance of pumpkins, squash, apples and all the produce around fall harvest. I love going to a farmers’ market any time of year, but I get an extra bit of joy going when the air is cooling off and the leaves are starting to color. To celebrate the arrival of autumn and all its flavors, it is time for another Let’s Read Three post about going to the farmers’ market!
When time allows, I love using books to prepare for outings. Books are a great way to describe what you are going to be doing, build the anticipation of it, and also give ideas for what to be looking for while adventuring. These three books are very different in their approach to farmers’ markets and also feature different versions of markets.
1. We’re Going to the Farmers’ Market by Stefan Page, 2014
This little board book is just out from Chronicle Books and we absolutely adore it. The text is wonderfully lilting with the familiarity of the children’s rhyme “To market. To market” although it is not that actual rhyme as far as I can tell. The pictures are bold and graphic, built out of noticeable shapes and a vivid color palette.
Some of my favorite pages, as well as my toddler’s, are the ones that detail the items picked up such as “eggs, milk, and cheese” illustrated in basic shapes and colors that are still completely recognizable. This is a smart and fun book that could even be carried along the trip as it is small and sturdy. We often quote it on our way to the market!
2. Market Day by Eve Bunting, pictures by Holly Berry, 1996
One of the great things about farmers’ markets is that they occur all around the world in similar, yet distinct fashions. It is a fun way to experience culture and the many flavors of the world. Our next book in the trio is a tale about visiting an Irish village market. It is an older, fictional story about a little girl exploring the market with a friend and watching all the vendors selling their food and wares.
While the text tends to be a bit heavy, the story is fun to follow and gives many exciting images to ponder in both illustration and description. I just love how packed the illustrations are, describing the sensory overload of a marketplace.
3. To Market, To Market by Nikki McClure, 2011
The final book in this group is a fantastic cut paper illustrated introduction to different foods and vendors found at a modern day market. Nikki McClure is a master with the silhouetted illustration style and she uses it brilliantly here to show foods at the market like apples, kale, & honey as well as highlight the artisans and farmers who work hard to bring those items.
Each page is in contrasting black and white with a different accent color to highlight each food. The variety of the items represented is lovely, including even salmon and blueberry turnovers. The following page for each food discusses how the food was created. Each section ends with a thank you to the people involved in getting it to the market. I love the gratitude aspect and personalizing the process, but I do find the growing information to be way too detailed for most little audiences. We tend to shorten it during readings, often only including the thank you’s for each item.
Well, I’m ready to hit the market again. Even illustrated, these stands make me a little hungry! What other market books do you favor? I would love to know.