Sunday, January 29, 2012

How Did That Get In My Lunchbox? by Chris Butterworth (ages 4 - 8)

My kids love cooking, but if you ask them where their food really comes from I'm not sure they'd be able to tell you. Sure, they can tell you that apples grow on trees - but what about bread? cheese? chocolate? How Did That Get in My Lunchbox? takes this question and shares the answers in an engaging, fun way for young children.
How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?
The Story of Food
by Chris Butterworth
illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti
MA: Candlewick, 2011
ages 4 - 8
2012 NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Book
available from your local library, favorite bookstore, or on Amazon
How do we get most of the food we eat? That's right, we make a trip to our nearest store. If we're lucky, we have a home or community garden where we can grow some of our own food. But we are far removed from most food production. Butterworth shows readers how each item in their lunchbox makes it from the farm to the table. For some items like an apple or clementine, it's a simple journey growing on a tree, being picked and washed, then traveling to the store. But other items are much more complicated; bread starts as a grain, which is then ground to flour before it can be baked into bread. Butterworth clearly explains how several items in a typical lunchbox are made, providing enough information to help children envision this but keeping it simple enough for young readers to follow.

This book keeps a fun, fresh tone with Gaggiotti's retro cartoon illustrations. The illustrations will draw young kids in to this factual book and keep their interest. Gaggiotti has integrated the text into the illustrations, making each numbered step clear to follow.

Take a look at this Google preview to get a sense of how fun this would be to share with preschoolers or young elementary school children:

The final two page spread shows the four food groups that should be included in our daily diet and how much space they should take on our plate. I especially liked Butterworth's kid-friendly description of the food groups, such as, "Protein: These are 'bodybuilders' (to help you grow those extra inches)." Throughout, this has an informative but encouraging tone perfect for preschoolers, kindergartners and 1st graders.

Head over to Wendie's Wanderings for Nonfiction Monday to find more wonderful nonfiction to share with your children.

The review copy came from our school library collection. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books


  1. Sounds like a great book as children really need to learn about where our food comes from.I would love it if you link up to my Book Sharing Monday.

  2. Mary Ann, Thanks for reviewing this book. I volunteer in a 2nd grade classroom every week during their reading/writing time, and recently the school nurse visited and talked about food and their lunches. I'll be sure to share it with them.

  3. Hi Mary Ann, this is probably the second time that ive seen a review of this book and it sounds luscious indeed! Will look for this in our local library. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This sounds like such a cool book for an elementary school age group - lovely illustrations!