March 2012

Bread, Bread, Bread by Ann Morris

A simple picture book can convey messages beyond words.

If I told you that a picture book held, say, fifty words or so in it, you’d probably think it was one of those boring Bob books that are used to teach kids words today, or even a “See Jane” book from your own childhood. But what if I told you that there is a book that only contains a few words, yet through its provocative (but age appropriate) photos, a much deeper story—and even discussion—could emerge from it?

That’s exactly the case when it comes to Ann Morris’s Bread, Bread, Bread with photographs by Ken Heyman. I ran across the book on a list of books about environmental and social awareness and was lucky enough to discover that our library carried it. The text alone doesn’t tell you that much. Sure, bread is crunchy or soft, it’s good for you (what a revolutionary thought in the west! I was so happy to read that bread makes you strong and healthy to my child), and people use it to sop up eggs and so forth. But the real story emerges when you see the first photo in the book—which is of a young girl carrying a tray of flat breads on her head.