Title: The Life of Rice
Author and Illustrator: Richard Sobol
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Concepts: natural resources, capital resources, human resources, exports, producers and consumers
Review: Much of Thailand, the world’s largest exporter of rice, is covered with lush terraced rice fields that have a long history of bountiful harvests due to the rich soil. Also contributing to the plentiful harvests have been carefully constructed irrigation systems, the collective efforts of small-scale farmers and their families, and, as some believe, the blessing of the king during the Royal Plowing Ceremony.
Noted photographer and world-traveler Richard Sobol had the good fortune to receive an official gold-inscripted invitation to this ceremony, which marks the beginning of Thailand’s National Celebration of Rice. His pictures and recollections from the ceremony form an interesting segment of this beautifully-illustrated and carefully-researched book about rice production and consumption in Thailand. Educators and parents seeking new materials to teach children about natural resources will value the book’s international orientation, the author’s first-hand observations, and the stunning photographs.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children