Cover Image: History Is Delicious

History Is Delicious

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Member Reviews


This book was okay. It's delightfully colorful and eye-catching and filled with interesting information about foods from around the world. That said, it seemed a bit "wordy" for a children’s book. I don't think this would hold a child's interest for long. 🤷🏻‍♀️ However, it held this adults' attention, so it get's an extra star for that! 

**ARC Via NetGalley**
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A fun graphic history of food! I loved the images and all the snippets of information. Very informative, and the recipes are going to be super fun to try out!
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This isn’t an in-depth look at world cuisine and to pretend it is would be unfair. This book is a basic young person’s guide to foods of the world, with some basic recipes thrown in.

I thought the text was clear, concise and easy to read for a variety of age ranges - I have no doubt my students would find this an engaging piece of non-fiction to place in the book corner.

The layout, however, I struggled with. It was very helpfully divided by location but there were general interest sections thrown into the mix that seemed confusing to me so I have no doubt a younger reader would also struggle to make sense about why the section on Europe begins with a “dining dos and don’t” page featuring… Costa Rica.
The one thing you can’t do when teaching children a global subject is make them confused about geography.

I would rate it higher but I strongly feel the layout really lets this book down and I know my students would struggle to understand.
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History is Delicious by Joshua Lurie is such a unique children's book that teaches young readers about food history. I had not seen a children's book like this before, and I think it is very educational and well written.
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I don't rate books that I DNF unless they are hurtful or problematic, which I find this book to be, especially considering it's supposed to be a children's book. I got through most of this and then skimmed the rest, but yuck.

The first issue I have, and the least troublesome, is that the layout of this book is terrible. Right after we jump into the Americas section, there's a huge sub-section on Table Settings Around the World. Like what? Out of nowhere. That's just one example, but there are countless times the formatting doesn't make sense.

The second I have, also not a huge issue, is that this book doesn't even feel like a children's book. It's riddled with huge paragraphs with complex words and meanings. I could grasp middle grade, but no way this is a children's book.

The third I have is with the huge amount of misinformation in here. After noticing a few problematic and questionable remarks made in this book, I decided to see if I was alone in thinking how inappropriate this book is. I was definitely not alone. There are plenty of reviews that highlight the issues in this book and so I'd highly recommend looking at the other 1-star reviews. I don't want to just repeat everything they've already said, but I will give some examples that made me do a triple take. These are actual notes I took while reading this book.

-"We're connected through migration patterns and trade routes, along with historical factors such as colonization that have not always been positive." ???!?????? Need I even say more?? What the actual fuck?

-What cutlery do they use in Asia? This guy took in all the countries in our largest, and extremely diverse, continent and literally just said "Chopsticks." Bruh.

-India is one of the most diverse countries in the entire world and that's expressed in the food there so so so much. And he goes with chaat, dosas, samosa, and biryani?? At this rate, I'm surprised he didn't literally put butter chicken on there.

-Africa exists, first of all. Secondly, all the African food I've ever tried in my life has been life-changing so the fact the only time Africa is discussed is a small section on Ethiopian coffee and Egyptian food (but under the Middle East section) is beyond me. Disgusting.

Thank you NetGalley and Honestly History for an advanced reader copy. All opinions and thoughts are very clearly my own.
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History is enjoying a rare moment in the sun due to the controversy surrounding teaching the 1619 Project and critical race theory in American schools.  Often considered one of the most dry subjects in school it rarely receives the attention it deserves and has increasingly been marginalized in primary and secondary education.  In the 2018 National Assessment of Educational Progress, or Nation’s Report Card, American students scored lower on assessments of their knowledge of U.S. history compared to 2014.  

The renewed interest in history is leading many education innovators and curriculum developers to begin publishing more history-focused materials. The Honest History franchise is dedicated to developing materials that help students “explore the past and re-discover stories of people, just like us, who changed the world.”  There is an Honest History magazine and on August 10 the company will launch a series of history books entitled “History is…”  The first two titles are History is Inventive and History is Delicious.  

History is Inventive chronicles groundbreaking inventions developed throughout time.  It begins with ancient innovations like surgeries and moves through various epochs in world history to more contemporary inventions like televisions, computers, and wi-fi.  Readers can also learn about how to obtain a patent and other invention related topics.  History is Delicious is a fun title that explores the cuisine and eating customs on different continents across the world.  This includes the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  The book also covers more generalized food topics like popular spices.  

While neither of these books focuses on U.S. history alone, they would make a fun addition to any educational environment.  They would be an excellent compliment to studies of world history as the content spans the globe in both books.  Educators can read the books aloud in a homeschool or classroom while students enjoy the beautiful illustrations.  The books are also very substantive and have a significant reading component for independent readers.  At approximately 80 pages they would not make up the spine of a curriculum, but could be a great supplement.  

This review is based on an advanced review copy.  Visit the Honest History website linked above to find out more about the franchise and new titles.
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I loved the idea of this book, and it does have a lot of good info. The book is split into sections called America's, Europe, Coffee Break (covers coffee and condiments), Asia, and the Middle East. 
The book does talk about food traditions, utensils, ingredients, and history of dishes. Some of the pages have great illustrations, but others are lacking and are long pages of text. I wish there were more illustrations or even photos of some of the lesser known dishes, especially since this is a book geared towards children. I think it would be best for older elementary or middle school students, but with pages full of text they might struggle to stay interested. The book is under 100 pages, so I felt it could have been longer by adding more illustrations or pictures and still been a reasonably sized book.
I also wished there were more recipes - there was just one each at the end of sections.
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I requested a copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.

How gorgeous and such fun! I love food and I love learning and even though I am an adult, this was a great book to read for me as I feel very lacking in the history department. 

The book is super colourful and gorgeous with easy to read fonts and recipes. 

I do think young people would love it and learn from it for both information and cooking.
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#HistoryIsDelicious #NetGalley

I really enjoyed History is Delicious; despite being familiar with many of the dishes, I learned a lot more through its infographic style.. I liked the Dinning Do's and Don'ts, breakdown of generally popular dishes. There aren't as many recipes as I thought there would be, but overall I enjoyed the book very much.
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The premise of this book is so promising - I'm always looking for unique ways to incorporate food literacy into our collection through different cookbooks and food-centric titles. However, I was a little disappointed with the execution of this book. I found that there were not enough pictures and recipes to keep kids interested in reading, and that the layout was a visually jarring at times. Again, I really like the concept of a book like this, and I hope that this book finds its way to the right audience.
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With thanks to NetGalley and Honest History for an early copy in return for an honest review.

I am always on the lookout for new nonfiction books for my classroom so I was excited to be able to review this book. I love this topic and think a lot of kids would really be into a book about cuisine around the world! Unfortunately I don't think it quite hit the mark for the intended audience. There were some really interesting tidbits and information included in the book, but it was very text heavy and the graphics didn't really help support the information. I did like the recipes that were included and those would be fun to try.
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2.5 stars.

I really wanted to love this book. I was excited by the premise and the table of contents. It promises fascinating information about food and eating behaviour from around the world. As it turns out, the information is indeed there. I appreciate the thorough and thoughtful details about global cuisine. I liked the inclusion of history. I appreciated the recipes.

It's the layout of the book leaves much to be desired. I like the colour coded pages. I like the inserted information boxes. The problem is that essentially, this book is way too text heavy. In addition, the sentence structure is complex for most elementary aged readers. The format of the book lacks the kinds of text features that would compliment the content and make it easier to grasp. For example, this is a book about food from around the world, yet it doesn't include one map.

Food is sensory. It's at least an experiential combination of visual, olfactory, and flavour. Capturing this in a book was never going to be easy. In this case it seems like the publishers didn't make much of an attempt. There are many text features that would have improved this title. The small coloured illustrations that are included helped a bit, but are not nearly enough. Photographs (and lots of them) would have been a huge improvement!

If you are just looking for bits of data then this book might be ok. The problem in using it as a research resource is that it doesn't include an index or a bibliography.

I would think long and hard, and explore other options before investing in this book for my school library.
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This book is an adequate book for a reference about different cultures and the food.  To me it felt like it was not enough of anything-there were only a few recipes, the cultural information was brief - I guess to make it more user friendly for kids, and there weren't very many pictures.  I don't think the kids at my school would find a book like this interesting.
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This was a cute little book. Perfect whether you want to get a quick history of food around the world, expand your. kids' library, or introduce someone to more foods.
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Content wise this is a fun book for kids if all ages and their grown ups, but I was super distracted by the very jarring graphic design choices? I get going big and bold for kids, but there wasn’t much consistency and as a reader it took me away from reading and learning.
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Thank you to the author, publisher and Net Galley for providing a free ebook ARC in exchange for my review.

I really wanted to like this book, and am so disappointed!  The writing seemed incomplete and unfinished, and not age appropriate for the book at all.  also, the organization was very confusing - something that I'm hoping that will be fixed before it is actually published.

2 stars.
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I really like the topic and proposed concept of this book, and had they actually produced the book they promised, I think it would have been great. Instead, I found many issues with this book.

There are odd mini-sections just thrown in the continent sections without any context. These aren't side bars about those geographic locations and should not have been included in them.

There is no attempt to expand on cuisine in areas, and the author chooses three recipes which *they* think represents that area. Considering that the author doesn't even have a section for Africa, I think we can deduce how accurate those choices are. Don't worry, coffee lovers, there is a brief "coffee break" which at least mentions Ethiopia - in another section, as it obviously isn't in the non-existent African section. There is no section which attempts to talk about any of the people and cultures found throughout the United States and Canada, either.

Basically the book appears to have been written by someone who knows nothing about the majority of the countries they are writing about, basing their knowledge on stereotypes and hearsay. 

The author does mention the word colonization and gives a nod to the fact that colonization affected cuisine. but they never go into it or how it greatly affected the cuisine of many cultures - something that should be a topic of the book.

Basically this book is lacking a lot - factual information, good recipes, and clear organization.
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Oh my, I can’t wait to share this with my little history-loving chef! The topic and art drew me to this title — and both kept me captivated. You can tell a lot of thoughtfulness went into what to include. I’m so appreciative I got to see an advance e-copy from NetGalley and the publisher. I will absolutely add this one to our home library!
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History is Delicious 

Let me preface this by saying that I love this book’s topic and the concept - educating about cuisines and cultures around the world. That said, I find it a conundrum …

It’s promoted as a children’s book and addressed to a young audience (“This is the book I wish i had when I was your age…”), yet the pages are FULL of extensive reading passages (some pages have no illustrations or graphics at all… just text) with fairly sophisticated vocabulary and rather advanced structure. Definitely not “kid-friendly.”

The writing itself is inconsistent. The author uses “etc.” like a bad chef uses salt - instead of a sprinkle to accentuate flavors, he shakes it indiscriminately and the overuse is annoying and clunky. Just put a caveat at the beginning that the countries or whatever listed are not necessarily exhaustive, but just the most prevalent or the most well-known, or whatever. But, you don’t need “etc.” at the end of so many lines and lists. 

The layout of the book is strange. I’m not sure if it’s just the ebook, or just my copy, or what, but on the page after the “Americas” divider is a section about “Table Settings Around the World” and “Do’s and Don’ts” is right inside “Europe.” What’s the point of making a separation between continents or whatever just to throw other thoughts jn there, especially right at the beginning. These odds-and-ends would have been better suited as separators between sections or continents or whatever (see, I’m not even sure what it’s supposed to be because the section titles have no consistency or clear reasoning) rather than within them. I wondered if maybe it makes sense in print and not ebook, but even looking at the Table of Contents page and seeing it laid out doesn’t make any sense. It’s confusing and misplaced. 

The actual information in the book is great. The cuisines, the recipes, and the appropriate illustrations all work, but the author seems confused as to whom he is addressing the book, and to whom he is writing. Thus, it’s hard to rate a book like this on a star scale - I like the concept but not the execution. I like the ideas but not the writing. Hmmm…
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E ARC provided by Netgalley

In this vibrantly colored nonfiction book, we are introduced to foods around the world. This starts with a nice introduction to how food develops over time, and is arranged by continents, but also includes information on things like "Table Settings Around the World". A selection of major countries is represented; for example,The Americas includes food from Mexico, Brazil, and Peru, with a listing of indigenous ingredients like chocolate, corn, and tomatoes! Different dishes are described for each country, and at the end of the chapter, there is a recipe for corn tortillas by restaurateur. The "Dining Do's and Don'ts" is very helpful. Celebrity chefs are included in the Europe section, with the history of pizza being discussed in the Italy one. Who knew that carbonara only goes back to the 1950s? There's lots more information, as well as a very complicated recipe for Picky Reader's all-time favorite-- hummus!
Strengths: With bright colors, mouth-watering illustrations, and bite-sized bits of information, this will be a great book for students who don't feel much like reading, but need something to pass the time in study hall. I like to hand students this kind of book instead of Guinness World Record books, since there is a lot of great historical information. I've always found reading about food fascinating, even if I don't like to cook. This book is a great help if one is inclined to visit a variety of ethnic restaurants!
Weaknesses: There are some ingredients in some of the descriptions that I had to look up online. Since this ended very abruptly with the recipe for hummus, perhaps there is a glossary and index in the finished book. 
What I really think: I was thrilled to see this available in hardcover from Follett, and will hand this to readers who gobble of Zachman's There's No Ham in Hamburger or other food related books.
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