OPINION

At the Library with Nancy Middaugh

Hamburg Reporter

As Hamburg’s annual Popcorn Day approaches, an article about books related to popcorn seems appropriate.

    First, here are a few interesting facts about popcorn to consider.  Popcorn is the official snack of Illinois.  According to Lexi Jacobs, author of “The History of Popcorn,” Americans eat around 17 billion quarts of popcorn each year. The top producer of popcorn is Nebraska with an estimated 250 million pounds grown each year.  More popcorn is grown in Holt County, in north central Nebraska, than any county in the country.  With a local connection, ConAgra Foods, Inc. produces more than 1 billion bags of popcorn, making Golden Valley the largest manufacturer of microwave popcorn in the world.

    Second, Hamburg Public Library has available easy reading books with a popcorn theme.

In “Popcorn:  a Frank Asch bear story,” everyone brings popcorn     to a party for treats.  Good idea until Bear decides to pop it all at once with explosive results.   Another story of what happens when the popping of corn gets out of hand is “Popcorn” (Moran).

“The Popcorn Book” by Tomie dePaola provides historical information about the tasty treat as two boys learn what makes it pop.  “Popcorn at the Palace” (McCully) focuses on the introduction of the American phenomenon of popcorn to England.  In “Motor Mouse” (Rylant), readers discover that popcorn is great to share.

Eaten without oil or butter, popcorn is a skinny 27 calories a cup and has a high fiber content.  In the junior 641 section, the library has four books that include ways to prepare this ideal snack.  If you want to be adventurous, “Popcorn” (Giedt) offers savory, sweet or skinny concoctions like  Jalapeño Pecan, Peanut Butter Crunch, or Popcorn Provençal.  “The Hoppin ‘n’ Poppin Popcorn Cookbook” (Steer) includes 60 poptastic recipes including one chapter especially for Kids’ Treats.

“Popcorn!” is an entertaining book by Elaine Landau and illustrated by Brian Lies in which humans and and a raccoon share with readers everything they ever wanted to know about popcorn—but were too full to ask!  For instance, some Native Americans spread oil on ears of popcorn and placed then near a fire.  The corn popped while still attached to the ear and was eaten like corn on the cob.

“Cornzapoppin’!” (Williams) uses a different approach and offers popcorn recipes and party ideas for each month of the year.  Try Cinnamon Popcorn Hearts for Valentine’s, Popcorn Apples for the Teacher in September and Creamy Orange Witches for Halloween.

Pop open a good book and enjoy a popcorn treat while you’re reading.

FYI—the library is planning to resume Adult Coloring September 7.  You are invited to join us from 2 to 4 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month.  Coloring pages, markers, crayons and colored pencils are all provided.  Access is available through the north door for fewer steps.  Call the library 382-1395 if you have questions.