lunch box love (part two)

What’s in Cornelius’s lunchbox this time?

Last week, Cornelius was somewhat disappointed to find a ham and cheese sandwich in his lunchbox. Same old, same old. Funny, he’d never complained about rubber food before ☺.

Maybe it wasn’t the food itself, but his curiosity about how it got there. In How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?: The Story of Food by Chris Butterworth and Lucia Gaggiotti (Candlewick, 2011), we learn the interesting backstories of typical lunch ingredients (bread, cheese, apples, clementines, apple juice, carrots, tomatoes, and the chocolate in chocolate chip cookies). Most of us take our food for granted as it magically appears on supermarket shelves. Unless children have grown up on a farm or visited an orchard or cheese factory, they might not realize that quite a few people have had a hand in producing some of the things we eat every day.

Bread begins with the farmer who grows and harvests the wheat. Then there’s the miller who grinds it into flour, and the baker who mixes and kneads the flour before baking those warm, crusty loaves. With lively and engaging text, Butterworth breaks down the production of each food into sequential steps. We see how cow’s milk is turned into cheese at the dairy, how greenhouse tomatoes are planted, sorted, packed and distributed, how harvested apples are mashed into juice at the factory.

Cheery illustrations provide fascinating details (trucks, machines, animals, workers, production lines, farms, fields, orchards) which help to clarify tasks. There’s also a chart of the four basic food groups with advice on the importance of drinking adequate water, eating a variety of fruits and veggies, and getting enough exercise.

This is a good introduction that will foster appreciation for the vital role of each element in the production chain, getting kids to think about the importance of both human and natural resources. Extra points for the cute endpapers and highly appealing title page spread showing a culturally diverse group of kids with cool lunchboxes in a nice variety of shapes, colors and styles. Oh, and I love the mustached bread baker who has a decidedly French attitude! Oui,oui!

written by Chris Butterworth
illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti
published by Candlewick Press, January 2011
Picture book with nice rounded corners and 32 thick pages for ages 4-8


For Lunch Box Love (Part One), click here.

**Chocolate Chip Cookies by Back to the Cutting Board/flickr


Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

7 thoughts on “lunch box love (part two)

  1. Nice!! Now I feel hungry again! I have a feeling that this would be a book that I would enjoy sharing with my nine year old. Several years back, we read the series of Laura Ingalls Wilder together and she was amazed at how soap was physically made, how butter/milk/cheese are done and the difficulty in making bread, and all these things. This picture book though would allow that with rich illustrations to boot. I have to check this book out. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂


    1. Besides being wonderful stories, I love how the LH books present a life of self sufficiency. We seem so spoiled by comparison, acquiring food and things “ready made,” and I think we suffer as human beings because there is less connection with and respect for resources we take for granted. The resurgence of the “farm to table” movement is a good thing :). Hope you do get to share this book with your daughter.


  2. I’ve seen that book and love it. Children need to think about where their food comes from.

    I’ll take some of those nom-nom cookies, please.


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