Children's Literature - Gwynne SpencerThis large-print easy reader introduces readers to cabbage, potatoes, onions, spinach, peas, broccoli, eggplants, and Brussel sprouts (although the table of contents lists them incorrectly as "sprouts"). Each book in the "On Your Plate" series includes all-color pictures with one or two sentences of accompanying text and a smaller print sentence of additional text; it is like a Powerpoint presentation that has been turned into a book. Throughout the series, the term "healthy" is misused (i.e., things are "healthful" while people are "healthy," according to my usage guides). None of the plants are shown here, which is a shame since many kids have never seen the source-plants for their food in the natural settings, especially young readers for whom this series seems to have been designed. There is a lot not to love about this volume. A baked potato is shown with a lot of butter on it, as is a bowl of peas. The latter is also accompanied by the text "Peas have to be cooked before you eat them." A green soup is used to illustrate onion use; a pizza shows cooked spinach. Carrots get two pages of text, but are not listed in the table of contents. The book ends with a two-page "Things To Do" matching quiz that readers can use to test their memory of the text. A brief glossary and index are included. The publisher-provided blurb suggests that "[l]atch-key kids will also appreciate the number of recipes and meal suggestions included in each volume." However, I did not see ANY recipes in this volume. Reviewer: Gwynne Spencer
Children's Literature - Meredith KigerThis fun and interesting series of five books focusing on good nutrition is designed to make an impact on preschool and early elementary students. This edition on vegetables contains bright, colorful, cartoon-like illustrations and photos, an in-your-face format, and amusing but accurate text that combine to make an often boring subject inviting. Discussion begins with a balanced diet and its importance, featuring a graphic on daily intake that actually makes more sense than the "new" pyramid touted by the United States Department of Agriculture. Discussion on the many kinds of vegetables, their difference from fruits, as well as ways to include them in your daily lunch is included. Potatoes, squashes, mushrooms and a few unusual vegetables are explained with tips on how to include them in your diet. Being a vegetarian is explained, as well as the importance of including protein from alternative sources. Photos of vegetables common in other countries and cultures are an informative addition. Two pages of true-false, short answer, and multiple choice quizzes, and a glossary, index, and suggestions for parents and teachers are added attractions. This book is a winner for any age group, and has never been more important than now. Part of the "What's for Lunch?" series.
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