Read About Breads and Rice
Bread * Bread * Bread
By Ann Morris, photographs by Ken Heyman
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1989
This modern classic features photographs of people all over the world eating bread of all shapes and sizes, making bread, selling bread, and breaking bread together. An index offers a key to each photo.
Take your time going through the book. Invite children to name breads they recognize and those they eat at home and school. Talk about similarities and differences in the types of bread and what people eat with or on bread.
Create a class book about bread. Ask each child to bring from home a favorite bread, preferably one that reflects the family's culture. Take an instant photo of each child with his special bread. Mount the photos on paper, add captions (dictated by the children or explaining each photo, such as "Anwar likes chapati"), and bind the pages together.
Everybody Bakes Bread
By Norah Dooley, illustrations by Peter J. Thornton
Lerner Publishing, 1996
Carrie's mother is making her great-grandmother's recipe for Italian bread, and she needs a special rolling pin. Carrie visits different neighbors to find the rolling pin and discovers that everybody is baking bread today. Each family represents a different culture and each is making a different type of bread. Lucky Carrie gets to taste each one. There is a recipe for each bread, from South Asian chapatis to American corn bread to coconut bread from Barbados.
This story has a lot of text for young children. Paraphrase in places to hold their attention.
Make one type of bread with children. Chapatis made with whole-wheat flour and corn bread made with cornmeal are both good choices for complementing what children are learning about grains and whole-grain foods.
Everybody Cooks Rice
By Norah Dooley, illustration by Peter J. Thornton
Lerner Publishing, 1991
In this companion book, Carrie is once again on a mission through her culturally diverse neighborhood. It's dinnertime, and she is looking for her brother, Anthony. As she stops at different homes, she finds that everybody is cooking a rice dish for dinner. When she finally makes her way home, where Anthony has returned on his own, she learns that her family is having a rice dish too. But after tasting everyone else's dinners, she's too full to eat!
This story also has pages with full text that you may want to shorten to maintain children's interest. Highlight the different families and how the ingredients they mix with the rice vary.
There are also recipes for each family's rice dish. However, the recipes are most likely too involved and the flavorings too exotic for making and tasting with young children. Instead, try the basic recipe for preparing rice and use brown rice to introduce children to this healthful food. Guide children in comparing the look and feel of the grains before and after they are cooked.