Elaine Landau, author
Elaine Landau worked as a newspaper reporter, a children's book editor, and a youth services librarian before becoming a full-time writer. She has written over 200 books for children.
Read more about Elaine.
Brian Lies, illustrator
Brian Lies has illustrated many children's books and written several of his own, including Hamlet and the Magnificent Sandcastle. Brian also does editorial illustrations for magazines and newspapers. He lives in a seaside town in Massachusetts.
Read more about Brian.
- Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year, 2004
- Rhode Island Children's Book Award nominee, 2006
- OH Farm Bureau Award for Children's Literature Honor, 2005
- WI Agriculture in the Classroom Book of the Year, 2006
Respected nonfiction author Landau uses a lighthearted approach in this picture book for older children, which offers popcorn facts and figures and answers questions that children often wonder about, such as, What makes it pop? She presents an interesting history--the snack's Native American origins, the invention of the popping machine, and the popularity of popcorn during World War II, when sugar for other snack foods was in short supply. Lies' brightly colored acrylic illustrations enhance the humor of the text, especially with his use of a pesky raccoon character who insinuates himself into nearly every picture, raiding the refrigerator, roasting corn over an open fire, and stealing the treat from humans. Occasionally, Lies strays a bit over the top (a Pilgrim and Indian share popped corn while watching football on television), but most of the pictures are amusing and accurate. This will be useful for classroom projects and report writers as well as entertaining reading for popcorn munchers, who will appreciate the popping and serving suggestions Landau includes. A list of online and print resources is appended. –Kay Weisman
School Library Journal
Children will love this enjoyable, oversized compilation of historical facts, legends, trivia, and recipes, featuring the popular snack food. Lies's acrylic cartoons guarantee a good time for all. Students will use this attractive and informative book as both a resource for reports and as a fun read. All that is needed for the ultimate experience is a big bowl of the real stuff, with butter. –Barbara L. McMullin, Casita Center for Technology, Science & Math, Vista, CA
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Page count: 32
8 1/2 x 11