In this very short debut guide to fruits and vegetables, Lee offers a colorful way for kids to track their healthy eating.
A host of vegetables address young readers directly in this children’s picture book, recommending that they eat five colors of fruits and vegetables every day, along with meat, fish, bread and milk. On each page, representatives from each color group—red, orange, green, blue/purple and white—explain what makes them special. A tomato, a beet and kidney beans, accompanied by a strawberry and a slice of watermelon, explain that red fruits and vegetables help keep both children and adults healthy. Cabbage, along with green peas, spinach and other foods, claim that green vegetables are good for the eyes and give kids energy. An eggplant instructs a plum, blackberries and grapes on how blue and purple fruits and vegetables enhance memory. Carrots and sweet potatoes, along with their similarly hued fruit friends, suggest that orange fruits and vegetables help build strong bones and teeth, improve the skin and eyes, and may help cuts heal. For the white group, onion and garlic celebrate how they help other foods taste better and keep the heart healthy. There are some missing elements here—including peppers, which come in several colors, and a page for the color yellow, which might have included bananas and squash. A note for parents might have helped explain why certain foods are not mentioned, and what vitamins are associated with each color group. However, Bean’s cartoonish illustrations, featuring vegetables with faces, colored in polka dots, stripes, checks and other patterns, will draw children’s eyes, and an activity to find the tomatoes in a lettuce patch will entertain young readers. An easy-to-photocopy chart could easily go on the refrigerator to help children track the colors they eat every day of the week.
A clever, positive take on nutrition that offers pleasant advice and entertaining illustrations without the usual admonitions to avoid unhealthy foods.