A sister and brother learn about healthier living through trial and error in this picture book.
Rath (How Full is Your Bucket?, 2015, etc.) tells the story of a village called Verve, in which all the residents are unable to move. That is, until the wind blows young Poppy off a hilltop and she feels a positive charge as she rolls down the hill. She learns that “what you do gives you energy,” and she then rolls an immobile boy, Simon, down the hill to wake him up, as well. Together, Poppy and Simon realize that movement makes them feel better—but that alone isn’t enough for the strip of colored lights on their shirts (signifying their energy levels) to change from red to green. So they try eating different types of foods—first snack foods and soda, then fruits and vegetables—before figuring out that healthful food makes them feel great. But something’s missing, and they quickly realize it’s sleep. Once they put together the equation—“Eat right, move more, and sleep well for energy”—the kids, along with their parents, set off to re-energize the whole village by sharing the lessons they’ve learned. Rath writes in clear prose and asks lots of questions so that kids can work through the problems themselves—“When Poppy and Simon wake up the next morning, they feel even better than they did the day before. Simon looks at Poppy and asks her, ‘Do you think sleeping gave us more energy?’ ” The story’s lesson is straightforward but important, as it teaches kids that taking small steps in their lives can makes them feel better physically and think more clearly. Aón’s (The Lonely Existence of Asteroids and Comets, 2012, etc.) detailed, colorful illustrations, in which the people resemble Pixar characters, will help draw readers in. The book also doubles as a workbook, as Rath lists discussion questions at the end that may help kids talk to parents or teachers about living healthier lives. It also includes stickers to help motivate younger readers, including one with an illustration of a colored-lights strip and one that reads, “I am fully charged!”
A children’s book that imparts key lessons about health without forfeiting an entertaining story.