By: Brian P. Cleary
Publishe: Millbrook Press
Publication Date: August 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: September 2010
Everyone knows that milk is good for you and tasty on top of it all. Some people like their milk with a bit of chocolate swirled through, some like theirs with a dab of strawberry, while others like theirs plain. If you want to know all about the milk group, you need only peek inside the pages of this book. Of course a grinning, purple cat from the CATegorical series will tell you right up front that milk is “A nutritious white liquid produced by mammals. People drink milk from some mammals, such as cows, sheep, and goats. The milk group includes milk and foods made from milk.” Turn the page and the action begins when the crazy cast of cats tell you what milk is really all about.
A Holstein cow is producing a steady stream when the brown cat is milking her. You never can tell where that milk will end up. Green cat is enjoying an ice cream cone, while some cats just love to eat cheese (purr!). There is an animal roundup of many kinds of animals that produce milk. We all need to drink it because “milk contains calcium– / and when we’re little / we need it so our teeth and bones / don’t turn brittle!” Cats in an ice cream parlor get theirs served up any number of yummy ways, but in all seriousness it can “help fight diseases, like osteoporosis.” We eat all kinds of foods, but “not many food groups / are so good for slurping, / dunking, and chugging / (which may lead to burping!).” Whichever way you serve your milk, it’s spelled mmmmmmm!
This zany Food is CATegorical book makes it easy and fun to learn about the milk group and its health benefits. Many people are familiar with Brian Cleary’s math and reading series, but this one makes learning equally fun and easy. Each milk-based food is colorfully highlighted in the text for easy identification, including types of milk such as 1% and 2%. The amazingly fun rhyming scheme, along with the equally appealing CATartwork, will pull even the most reluctant reader into an essential learning experience. In the back of the book is a more straightforward section on the milk group, the food pyramid, and what our calcium needs are. For example one slice of Swiss cheese is equal to a half cup serving. If you want your lessons to be served up in a fun, CATegorical style, this is one book you might just want to add to your list!
Quill says: If you are interested in introducing the concept of the food pyramid to your homeschool or classroom audience in a FUN manner, this cast of "comical cartoon cats" will step in and give you a lesson your kids won't forget!