I recently received a copy of The Great American Cereal Book to review from Abrams Books. Written by Marty Gitlin and Topher Ellis, this book is 368 pages full of cereal history. Ellis is a cereal expert and editor of a long-running cereal publication and that expertise shows in this book.
There is not much of a narrative in the book. There is a lot about the early days of cereal beginning in 1863, but the true impressive nature of the book comes in that it is a list of every American cereal produced and contains hundreds of pictures of actual product.
As a kid, I didn’t get a lot of sugary cereals growing up, but I’m very familiar with them as I pined for them thanks to Saturday morning commercials trying to push them on me. In a way, I feel like looking through this book is like many of my trips to the grocery store with my family when I was in grade school. Oh, that cereal looks good! I wish I could try it. Sadly, much like the answer I got 25 years ago, the answer is no. But this time it’s because a lot of these cereals are no longer in production.
Cereals are huge and there have been thousands of different types with hundreds of different franchises from Star Wars to Batman getting their own cereal. I have to admit that I was slightly blown away at just how much a part of American culture this stuff really is. This is a great book for anyone looking to walk down memory lane…or in this case, the memory cereal aisle.