Bread Bread Bread

Bread Bread Bread

If you are seeking an enlightening book about food and culture, Ann Morris’s book Bread Bread Bread just might be it. With photographs taken by Ken Heyman, the book features a friendly yet telling look at bread from all around the world. It’s such an incredible book because it’s about diversity and the plethora of people here without waving a big flag that screams “Diversity here! Learn about people different from you!” It’s a gentle, easy to read book that children will enjoy.

The various photos of bread, as well as the people making, enjoying, or selling it, are simply beautiful and provocative in a subtle way, if that makes sense; kids can tell immediately that there is something different—and perhaps, sometimes something poor—about each different type of bread without being told. Photos of fat and skinny bread, bread with holes or flat shapes, and breads that are both soft and crunchy are all depicted. Families who eat nothing but bread with something small alongside it—along with families who have much more—are also shown without a piteous statement or judgmental observation. On the contrary, each family and each bread is simply in existence for children to see and make their own observations about. Kids will be exposed to things they might not ever expect, like older people selling bread, or perhaps children like them cooking bread on a hot open fire.

The importance of bread as a nutritional staple is also conveyed, as is the warmth and love of making and eating it with family. They are written so simply, however, that the message is not force fed, but sweet instead.

One of my favorite parts about the book is at the end, where each part of the world displayed in the book is further broken down, and we get to learn more about where each type of bread came from as well as some of the traditions from that area. For example, in Guatemala the mother makes the bread while the whole family gets it ready for sale, while in Portugal people often eat bread in outdoor cafes. Again, these descriptions are not presented in a judgmental or harsh format, but simple wording that children can understand easily. Both similarities and differences from around the world can be pointed out quickly just by viewing these photos and reading the short statements, allowing children to draw their own conclusions.