The Popcorn Book
The Popcorn Book

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Annotation: Presents a variety of facts about popcorn and includes two recipes.
Genre: Cookbooks
Catalog Number: #172094
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Holiday House
Copyright Date: 1978
Edition Date: 1978
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8234-0533-8 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-3355-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8234-0533-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-3355-7
Dewey: 641.6
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
Curious, shaggy-haired twins Tony and Tiny learn about the history of popcorn while waiting for a pot of kernels to pop.First published in 1978, this 40th-anniversary edition updates the depictions of Indigenous people and expands upon the presentation of historical facts as Tony gets a pan hot and ready for popcorn while Tiny tells his brother (and readers) about the history of the food. This version is cleaner and brighter, with more saturated colors and modern type. The European (French, Spanish, and English) colonizers' perspective of popcorn history is de-emphasized, and more agency is given to Indigenous peoples. This version does a good job of including more Native Nation-specific facts about popcorn and its preparation, with lines such as, "The Ho-Chunk, also known as the Winnebago, were particularly fond of oiled popcorn on the cob." That being said, even though Tony and Tiny, two white boys, live in the present, all references to Indigenous peoples are in the past; this was a missed opportunity to include present-day Indigenous peoples' relationships to corn/popcorn. Also, the original stereotypical illustration of a brown-skinned, angry "little demon" inside a kernel is woefully present in this version, although the text has been edited to say "little man"; rather than the original "The Indian people had a legend," the text now reads "Some people tell the story," which implies that the origins of this "legend" are hazy. Readers familiar with this book will delight in a fresher-looking version, but overall and despite good intentions, it does not completely rehabilitate the original's flawed depictions of Indigenous peoples. (sources, resources) (Informational picture book. 5-12)
Word Count: 712
Reading Level: 4.3
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.3 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 27474 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.3 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q09279
Lexile: AD650L
Guided Reading Level: N
Fountas & Pinnell: N

Tony likes to cook. Tiny likes to read. But both twins like to eat . . . POPCORN! So while Tony cooks it, Tiny reads about what popcorn is, how it's stored, how it's cooked, how different Native American people made it, how much popcorn Americans eat, popcorn stories and legends, and popcorn recipes. Tomie de Paola, who eats a lot of popcorn, shares what he knows about it with humor and imagination.

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