Daily Deals: Fast Food Nation, Puss in Boots and ABC Slate
Today Amazon offers Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser for $2.99.
On any given day, one out of four Americans opts for a quick and cheap meal at a fast-food restaurant, without giving either its speed or its thriftiness a second thought. Fast food is so ubiquitous that it now seems as American, and harmless, as apple pie. But the industry’s drive for consolidation, homogenization, and speed has radically transformed America’s diet, landscape, economy, and workforce, often in insidiously destructive ways. Eric Schlosser, an award-winning journalist, opens his ambitious and ultimately devastating exposé with an introduction to the iconoclasts and high school dropouts, such as Harlan Sanders and the McDonald brothers, who first applied the principles of a factory assembly line to a commercial kitchen. Quickly, however, he moves behind the counter with the overworked and underpaid teenage workers, onto the factory farms where the potatoes and beef are grown, and into the slaughterhouses run by giant meatpacking corporations. Schlosser wants you to know why those French fries taste so good (with a visit to the world’s largest flavor company) and “what really lurks between those sesame-seed buns.” Eater beware: forget your concerns about cholesterol, there is–literally–feces in your meat.
Schlosser’s investigation reaches its frightening peak in the meatpacking plants as he reveals the almost complete lack of federal oversight of a seemingly lawless industry. His searing portrayal of the industry is disturbingly similar to Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, written in 1906: nightmare working conditions, union busting, and unsanitary practices that introduce E. coli and other pathogens into restaurants, public schools, and homes. Almost as disturbing is his description of how the industry “both feeds and feeds off the young,” insinuating itself into all aspects of children’s lives, even the pages of their school books, while leaving them prone to obesity and disease. Fortunately, Schlosser offers some eminently practical remedies. “Eating in the United States should no longer be a form of high-risk behavior,” he writes. Where to begin? Ask yourself, is the true cost of having it “your way” really worth it? –Lesley Reed
Puss in Boots (Rabbit Ears Set 4) by Eric Metaxas, Pierre Le-Tan is offered with price $0.99.
Charles Perrault first published his collection of classic French folk tales 300 years ago, including “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and this entertaining story about a most clever feline. In Puss and Boots, a poor miller dies and leaves his youngest son nothing but a cat. The son is none too happy about it, either; ” …once I’ve eaten my cat and made a muff out of the fur, I’m sure to starve,” he says. But what a legacy the bequeathed cat turns out to be! The cat in tall boots creates a new identity for the youngest son — the Marquis of Carabas, complete with fine clothes, fields of wheat, a castle stolen from an ogre, and in the end, the respect of the king and the hand of the king’s daughter. The story itself is gracefully and humorously told, and the text, set in large gray type, adds an old-fashioned air to the tale.
Fred Marcellino’s illustrations for Puss in Boots — a Caldecott Honor Book — are infused with golden light and summer warmth in the sun-dappled woods and beside the fields of ripe grain. Many of his paintings show a masterful use of perspective; the reader sometimes looks down on a scene as though from a balcony, or from below, at a huge charging lion. Marcellino has also illustrated a version of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier and two books by Tor Seidler, A Rat’s Tale andThe Wainscott Weasel. Young listeners won’t soon forget this crafty character of a cat, who has a great deal of charm despite his less-than-honest means of helping his master. (Ages 5 to 9)
Some words about the Authors.
CHARLES PERRAULT (1628–1703) is considered the original creator of the fairy tale, having written such classics as Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella.
FRED MARCELLINO (1939–2001) began his career in illustration with A Rat’s Tale (available from Farrar Straus Giroux). Puss in Boots was his first full-color picture book and a Caldecott Honor winner. He continued to win awards and receive critical acclaim for his children’s books until his death in 2001.
ABC Slate is a small application for teaching handwriting skills for kids.
Do you have a preschool child just learning how to recognize and draw their ABCs? If so, loading up the ABC Slate app into your Android device will give you a mess free, and highly mobile, virtual chalk board. This interactive chalk board helps guide children on how to properly recognize and write the English alphabet in either upper or lowercase block letters.
Simply trace the letter forms, or write them free-hand, on the simulated writing paper below ABC Slate’s example. If your child becomes stuck on recognizing the letter, a voice prompt may be pressed that sounds out the letter with a pleasant, child-friendly voice.
The practice paper uses solid or dashed paper lines with optional follow-the-dot lines for each letter. ABC slate is easy to use for children with responsive touch control to avoid confusing your child. Your little tot will be successfully writing letters before you know it.
- Practice area for writing features solid and dashed writing-paper lines
- Letter work on portrait and landscape layouts saves automatically
- Finger tracing aided by optional follow-the-dot lines for each letter
- Voice prompt option reminds young students of the letter to trace
- Upper and lowercase letter formats