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Corn is a fascinating food with a long and storied history in the Americas. It has sustained cultures for generations and remains a staple food in many countries today. In this post I’m sharing a description and review of six books about corn for kids.
These children’s books about corn will help your kids understand corn’s history in the Americas, how corn is grown, what kinds of foods are made from corn, and how to prepare their own popcorn snack. Read on and prepare for your mouth to water!
Note: For more corn activities, see my Corn Unit Study page.
Corn by Gail Gibbons
This book will teach kids pretty much everything they ever wanted to know about corn! Gail Gibbons covers it all – the history of corn in the Americas, its role in the first Thanksgiving, how it is grown, kinds of corn, foods made from corn, and more! Kids may be especially interested in how corn kernels become popcorn. With colorful illustrations and accessible text, this book should play a central role in any learning about corn. Readers both young and old are sure to learn something new about corn. This is a great book for kids ages 5 to 9.
The Life and Times of Corn by Charles Micucci
Like the book by Gail Gibbons reviewed above, this book covers just about anything you ever wanted to know about corn, although this book has more detail than the Gibbons book. In this book, each spread covers a different aspect of corn, from its history to its anatomy to growing corn to uses for corn. There is just a wealth of good information in this book. Each topic includes a main paragraph about the topic and lots of mini text sections with additional information and illustrations. This book is appropriate for kids ages 5 to 9. It may also be enjoyed by older preschoolers, especially if you just read the main text section rather than all the extra details.
Due to its longer text and more complicated vocabulary, this book will hold more appeal for elementary students than for preschoolers. Nonetheless, it provides detailed information about the corn life cycle and the history and science of corn. The information in this book goes way beyond the basics provided in other books, including the Gail Gibbons book reviewed above. Kids who enjoy science will find a lot to fascinate them in this treasure of a book.
The Popcorn Book by Tomie de Paola
This terrific book gives a fascinating history of popcorn. In the Americas, popcorn was discovered by Native Americans many thousands of years ago. In fact, archeologists once found popped corn in a bat cave that was over 5,600 years old! Young readers will learn many ways that different people and cultures and popped corn over time. For example, some Native American tribes threw handfuls of corn kernels into a fire and waited until the popcorn popped out. This lead to a lot of bending and running around to gather it all up. Children will also be fascinated to learn different ways that popcorn has been eaten throughout history. Did you know that the early colonists used to eat popcorn for breakfast with cream poured on it? Children will enjoy hearing these and many other facts about this popular food. The back of the book includes two recipes for preparing popcorn at home from corn kernels. This book is most appropriate for kids ages 4 to 8.
From Kernel to Corncob by Ellen Weiss
This book is part of the Scholastic News Nonfiction Readers series, and it features bright and attractive photographs, factual information about the parts of the corn plant and how it grows, as well as an emphasis on corn-related vocabulary. The text is large and fairly simple. This books would make a good read aloud for preschool and kindergarten students, and a good book for young readers to read independently.
Corn Aplenty by Dana Meachen Rau
This book is a fiction selection from the Step Into Reading Series that is geared toward preschoolers and kindergarteners ages 4 to 6. The story follows a boy and girl who pass by a farm each day – sometimes in a car, sometimes by bike, and sometimes on foot. Each time they pass the farm, they watch the progression from preparing the field, planting the corn seeds, growing the corn, harvesting the corn, and selling the corn.
More corn resources
More corn posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Montessori activities to learn about the parts of corn
- How to make corn husk dolls
- Math activities with corn kernels
- Corn fine motor activities
- Sprouting Indian corn
- Indian corn popcorn in the microwave
- Simple corn crafts for kids