Rice is what keeps us alive," the Thai colonel told photographer Richard Sobol as they flew about Thailand as a team to protect "Thailand's threatened and endangered species." Sobol saw the vast expanses of rice fields and knew he had to come back to tell the story of the rice. This is that story. It begins with his official invitation from the King of Thailand to the Royal Plowing Ceremony which opens the Thai National Celebration of Rice.
The national calendar of Thailand follows the cycle of the rice growing season and the book follows the process explaining through text and photographs that rice reaches into the lives of the Thai people who will sow their seed by hand, use elephants or perhaps a colorfully painted agricultural machine called a combine
. The weather is all important and there are "Rocket Days" holidays so villagers can pound their drums to encourage rain to come, transplanting days, and harvesting days. The rice is an integral part of family and town life in Thailand. We finish with the fat, bulging sacks of rice ready for market and the stacks of brown stalks ready to be put back into the fields as fertilizer or to feed livestock. The cycle continues. A warm and informative glimpse into the cycle of rice. Ages 7-10 37 pages