Be meticulous...even in children's books

Publishers Weekly interviewed Adam Schell, a former chef who wrote the soon-to-be-released adult fiction title Tomato Rhapsody: A Fable of Lust, Love, and Forbidden Fruit (Delacorte, July 2009).Schell has described his book as a "playful absurdist romp" so PW asked him why he was so meticulous in his research for the book. I loved his answer:

I wanted to be meticulous. When you’re a chef and you read a book about food, you know when the author doesn’t have mastery of that subject. Sometimes it’s glaringly apparent. You know they haven’t done their homework. I wanted to make the [food parts] tactile, and place it so well in the 16th century, because with the story’s more farcical aspects, there’s that bit of uncertainty.

You know what's coming, right? I'm going to point out that this same thought can be applied to foodie books for kids, which is what I was trying to get at here. You can't just plug food into a story and call it a foodie book for kids. An author still needs to be meticulous, still needs to be aware of food's tactile and sensual nature. Even one writing for children and teens.

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