Cover image for
To market, to market
McClure, Nikki.

Personal Author:
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
An introduction to the concept of and products found at a farmer's market, including how some of the foods and other items are actually produced.
Reading Level:
For ages 4-8.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.6 0.5 144093.
Pub Date:
Abrams Books for Young Readers, [2011]



Home Location
Material Type
Shelf Number
Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E MCCLU

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Known for art that celebrates the virtues of community, hard work, and living gently on the planet, Nikki McClure here explores a topic close to her heart: the farmers market. Alternating between story and fact, this lovingly crafted picture book follows a mother and son to the weekly market. As they check off items on their shopping list, the reader learns how each particular food was grown or produced, from its earliest stages to how it ended up at the market. To Market, to Market is a timely book that shines awareness on the skill that goes into making good food.

Praise for To Market, to Market:
"These soulful images never feel static--an amazing feat for such a deliberate, painstaking medium." -- Kirkus Reviews , starred review

WINNER: 2012 Washington State Book Award, Children's Picture Books

Author Notes

Nikki McClure is a self-taught artist who has been making paper-cuts since 1996. She is the author and illustrator of Collect Raindrops and Mama, Is It Summer Yet? and the illustrator of All in a Day, by Cynthia Rylant, which won the Pacific Northwest Bookseller's award. She visits her farmers market in Olympia, Washington, every week. Visit her online at

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In this picture-book exploration of Market Day, the title page features a shopping list (apples, kale, smoked salmon, honey, blueberry turnovers, napkins, cheese), and as the book unfolds, a child narrator visits the stalls to gather the goods on offer. Each item is featured over four pages. The first spread introduces the particular food and the artisan or farmer responsible for it, and a turn of the page takes young readers and listeners to the locale where it originated and offers a detailed explanation of its production ( Genine plants the tiny, round kale seeds in trays of soil ). McClure's precise cut-paper technique evokes the skill that goes into artistic and horticultural crafts, with a single color on her graphic black-and-white and buff palette, highlighting the red apples, green kale, and golden honey, until the final spread, when the family sits down to an inviting smorgasbord featuring the colorful bounty. This affectionate paean to farmers' markets extols the charms of local production and celebrates the expert handiwork behind it.--Barthelmess, Thom Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Though the first pages of McClure's (All in a Day) latest inhabit familiar territory, exploring the world of a small child in simple language ("Today is Market Day. The farmers load their trucks with carrots and squashes, pears and mushrooms, fennel and chard"), intervening spreads offer more complex descriptions of the sources of the market's artisanal food. "To plant his orchard, Michael traveled to old orchards and collected scions, small cuttings of branches, from the trees laden with the best fruit." Michael appears on the left behind a dense network of leaves and apples, opposite a careful account of his work. "Thank you, Michael, for these crisp new apples," the description concludes. The effect of each closing benediction is that of a grateful prayer. McClure's papercuts of windblown hair, vegetable leaves, craftsmen at work, and beds of hay continue to delight. This is, in effect, two books in one: younger readers can stick to the gentle introductions to sections about kale, smoked salmon, honey, blueberry turnovers, cheese, and even napkins; older children will appreciate (and have the patience to sit through) each product's path to market. Ages 4-8. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-As a mother and son meander through the Olympia, WA, market, a full-page illustration shows them at a farmer's table while the facing page names the food sold there and briefly introduces the person who grows it. On the next page the farmer is illustrated at work and several paragraphs of elegant prose describe each process, ending with a simple "thank you." In this way, youngsters learn about apple-tree grafting and pruning, growing kale, beekeeping, smoking fish, baking, making batik napkins, and the art of cheese-making. Market day done, the mother and son head home with their loaded basket. Reminiscent of WPA woodcuts, McClure's mysterious and beautiful images are cut from black paper with an X-Acto knife; the lacelike result is scanned and colored. McClure's art and life intersect in this stirring tribute to the connections among nature, people, and the food that nourishes them. Maximize the impact in a "food for thought" display alongside Kathryn Lasky's Sugaring Time (S & S, 1983), Bonnie Geisert's Haystack (Houghton, 1995), Harriet Ziefert's One Red Apple (Blue Apple, 2009), and Jan Reynolds's Cycle of Rice, Cycle of Life (Lee & Low, 2009).-Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NC (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.