Starting Points: Gillian Richardson discussing 10 Plants That Shook the World

An ongoing series wherein CWILL BC writers and illustrators connect a picture or an item to one of their books.

Gillian Richard's image

Believe it or not….the thing in the photo above is a gold mine!
Hmmm…don’t believe it? What do you think it is? And what’s inside it?
Maybe these clues will help:

 Don’t sneeze!
 Imagine paying your bills with what’s inside this!
 Early evidence of it was found in Egyptian tombs
 Battles at sea were fought over it

Okay, so it’s actually a pepper mill, and the tiny balls are dried peppercorns. Turn the handle to grind the peppercorns into crumbs, and spice up your food! Pepper was first grown at least 5000 years ago, and it’s still one of the most popular spices we use.

Back in the Middle Ages, black peppercorns were used as money. Pepper was so valued in the 15th century that explorers sailed from Europe to India, all the way around the African continent (no Suez Canal back then) in a race to gain control of the pepper trade. No wonder it was once called ‘Black Gold’! Pay your bills with it? Wouldn’t work today – we can’t even use pennies in Canada anymore.

10 Plants cover

Find out more about pepper, and other fascinating plants in 10 Plants That Shook the World written by Gillian Richardson, and illustrated by Kim Rosen. Published by Annick Press in 2013.

About Dan Bar-el

I am a children's writer. I write picture books, middle grade novels and graphic novels. Also angry tweets, once in a while.
This entry was posted in books/writing, information books, new publications, Starting Points, writing process and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Starting Points: Gillian Richardson discussing 10 Plants That Shook the World

  1. Darlene says:

    Very interesting. Kids (and big kids) will love it!

  2. good one ~ chocolate is a plant, too :) thanks!

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