Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Great American Cereal Book: How Breakfast Got Its Crunch by Marty Gitlin and Topher Ellis

What is your favorite kind of cereal?  The Great American Cereal Book documents this quintessentially American invention from its very first ready-to-eat cold and boxed appearance in 1863 (Granula) through the present, with a focus on varieties produced by Kellogg’s, Post, General Mills, and their ilk.  Most cereal entries contain the name of the cereal, its producer, the start and end date of production, notable spokescharacters, and interesting facts.  The more familiar (Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Frosted Flakes) are all here along with the obscure (Freakies, Quisps, Klondike Pete’s Crunchy Nuggets, Barbie Fairytopia.)  Occasional features are sprinkled throughout on topics like Marbits (freeze-dried marshmallows found in cereals like Lucky Charms), the origins of Rice Krispie Treats, and The Trix Rabbit Story.  Whether browsing the images of the boxes or reading the features, this volume offers a rich source of advertising examples and stories for analysis and will appeal to students and their teachers immersed in introductions to media studies.  Backmatter includes acknowledgements, credits, and an index, and information about the authors and photographers. --Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Gitlin, Marty and Topher Ellis.  The Great American Cereal Book:  How Breakfast Got Its Crunch.  New York: Abrams Image, 2011.

Click here and here
for examples of a lesson plan inviting students to create their own cereals and advertisements and to analyze the nutritional value of different cereals. 

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