What the World Eats by Faith D’Aluisio

8 Apr

A book that is sure to inform

Let’s face it, nonfiction is often just not that appealing for young readers. D’Aluisio’s book begins to break this outdated prejudice by writing a book that is informative, interesting and fun. The layout of the book has a logical progression with photographs of families from around the world. Included in the photographs are each family’s weekly food items. Readers learn about the different diets from around the world, different cultures and facts about food.

One notable feature is the Area in Square Miles chart (p. 31) comparing size of countries around the world to the United States. Children often have difficulty with understanding size of countries, but by comparing the countries with known states, readers gain insight in to the true size of countries throughout the world. The author touches upon the obesity epidemic in the United States by comparing the number of obese people in the United States with Chad. The visual aid is  quite shocking showing the degree to which Americans living in the United States are obese. Young readers are sure to love this book and it will certainly elicit more questions from readers. This is an essential addition to any library’s nonfiction collection.


After borrowing this book from the public library, I sat mesmerized eating up every page (pun intended). The design of the book beckons readers and the layout is exceptional.  It saddens me that the United States has such an “issue” with food. I say “issue” because I think we are taught from a young age to relate food to emotion. I am generalizing, but in other countries where food is scarce, people eat to live, not eat to fill a void. I especially loved how the charts emphasized the obesity epidemic in the United States. This book wants to be taken home, read and discussed. Who knows, maybe it will even be a good family discussion starter about all kinds of topics like nutrition, culture and money.

Suggested Library Activity:

This book is an excellent resource and can be used in a number of ways. This book can be used as a bridge to world geography and can also be used to introduce the nonfiction and nonfiction features such as captions, headings, charts, etc. Students can use this book to create an informational report using the myriad of Web 2.o tools available.

Bibliographic Citation:

D’Aluisio, F. (2008). What the world eats. Tricycle Press. Berkeley.

Additional Book Review:

Gr 6 Up–This adaptation of the adult book Hungry Planet takes readers on an intimate, cross-cultural journey that focuses on the typical food choices of families in 21 countries. Splendidly illustrated with crisp color photographs of proudly displayed fare and filled with thought-provoking facts, this work is an eye-opener to savor.

Jones, T. (2008, December 1).School Library Journal’s Best Books 2008. What the world eats [Review of the book What the World Eats]. School Library Journal online. Message posted to http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6617203.html#Nonfiction


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