Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
Cycle of Rice, Cycle of Life

Cycle of Rice, Cycle of Life

Spring 2009 Non-Fiction
Ages: 7 - 12 yrs.
Author: Jan Reynolds
Illustrator: Jan Reynolds
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
ISBN: 978-1-60060-254-2
Hardcover Price: $19.95
For 1,000 years, Bali, one of the 17,000 islands that comprise Indonesia, had a sustainable method of irrigating, planting and harvesting rice making the small island one of the region’s largest producer of rice and a global model of sustainable farming. To the people of Bali, rice is more than a crop; it is life itself.

From the holiest temple atop a volcanic mountain ridge, water flows through a hierarchy of temples as the streams of water descend toward the ocean. Following and using the water to irrigate their rice fields, farmers built small temples on their individual farms, bringing the farmers together in celebrations and ceremonies that bound the community. The priests played an important role in supervising the allocation of water and settling disputes – until the government got involved to make the farmers produce more rice and the sustainable farming system collapsed.

Stephen Lansing, an American anthropologist, enlisted an American ecologist, James Kremer, in his Quixotic plan to save the Balinese tradition of sustainable farming. They succeeded in developing a computer model to explain to the government the enormous value of sustainable farming.

Kemie Nix   ©2009 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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