Though the title suggests an earnest foray into nutritious eating, the reality is an interactive presentation of opposites, fresh from the ground up.
Beginning with the cover’s satiny peas in the pod, four types of vegetables thrive in healthy, textured garden scenes. Each one is depicted in contrasting arrangements; carrots below grow in the ground; carrots above are individually prepared, sliced and diced. The overflowing basket and back cover include a few scattered veggies not initially highlighted. Brief labels describe the inevitable progression from root or vine until the food turns ripe for the picking. The natural pairings work well (big and little for pumpkins, tall for the cornstalk and short for its cob.) Each depiction adds depth through collage; die-cuts reveal tactile elements and pop against light, earthy backgrounds. These robust crops beg to be touched; rub the slightly rough sliver of carrot and feel the knobbly kernels of corn (though it’s a shame there’s no fabric to enhance the pumpkin’s smooth seeds).
A satisfying crunch from a fully fleshed-out concept. (Board book. 1-4)