May 17th, 2013 · Books
Review By JENNIFER GANNETT
Sylvia Spivens refuses to eat spinach, despite her parents’ attempts to cajole her. She engages in some very serious picking-spinach-out-of-her-meal behavior (we see the same behavior with carrots in our house).
One dreary March day, Sylvia’s teacher hands out a variety of seeds to the class for their upcoming garden project. Sylvia gets the packet containing spinach seeds. Suffice to say she is displeased, but no trades allowed!
As her classmates’ seeds sprout, Sylvia’s spinach remains quiet. This does not engender any new love of the vegetable in her eyes! Finally, the seedlings sprout and Sylvia regularly checks in on her baby spinach plants, caring for them with tenderness. As the growing season progresses, the class transplants their vegetables outside.
By the last week of school, the children’s garden was progressing but only a couple of plants were ready to harvest. One of them? Sylvia’s spinach! Noticing that others were munching on her just-harvested spinach, Sylvia worked up the gumption to try it herself. You may be able to guess the rest. Yes, another spinach eater created via the magic of gardening!
Sylvia’s Spinach (Amazon affiliate link) is a very nicely done book which honestly depicts some realities of children’s palates but handily reflects the power of shifting minds and tastebuds with participation in gardening. Vegan caregivers might want to note that there is a mention of eggs.
Ages 4 and up.
Tags:Anna Raff·Early Elementary·Female Protagonist·Garden·Gardening·Healthy Choices·Healthy Eating·Healthy Living·Jennifer Gannett·Katherine Pryor·Preschoolers·Spinach·Vegetable Books·Vegetables
May 14th, 2013 · Books
Review By JENNIFER KALI
This cute and humorous story of a pug coming to grips with the new baby in the house is told in rhyme to the cadence of The Raven. The illustrations are adorable as the frustrations of Andy the pug are very clearly shown on his wrinkled little face.
The pug has to adjust to not being the only baby any more, and also to all of the annoyances of having an infant in the house. Andy is frustrated by the all night crying and the constant attention the baby receives from his parents. But he is also intrigued by the baby’s bottles. What is in them that so captivates the baby? He has to get one! And that leads to the climax of the story. Poor Andy!
This book (Amazon affiliate link) would be a great gift for a child expecting a new baby in the house. It helps to illustrate what new babies are like while at the same time telling a humorous and engaging story preschoolers will love. This book was provided to me as a gift from the author, a friend of mine and fellow pug lover.
Tags:Companion Animals·Diana Ting Delosh·Dogs·Humor·Jennifer Kali·Kelly Morrison Handerhan·New Sibling·Preschoolers·Pugs
May 10th, 2013 · Books
Review By JENNIFER KALI
I thought we might have overdone it. I allowed my four-year-old daughter to pick three recipes from this book (Amazon affiliate link) for us to make for dinner one Friday night – homemade tomato sauce and pasta, cucumber salad, and blueberry pie. How long would dinner take to make? But I was pleasantly surprised – all of the recipes were so easy that we had dinner done in no time at all. The ingredients are simple and fresh and the list of ingredients is short, so each recipe tastes fresh and is simple to prepare.
Sadly, my daughter didn’t enjoy all of the recipes we made. Making the recipes did have her excited about trying new things. She loved the cucumber salad, which I don’t think she would have tried if I would have made it by myself. She concluded that she prefers tomato sauce from a jar, which might say more about my cooking style than anything else. And she wasn’t a big fan of blueberry pie though my wife and I thought it was delicious.
This children’s cookbook is an exploration of fruit and vegetables you might find in your own garden. The pictures are big and bold, which make it easy for my daughter to see what the end result will be. The book is short – only about 15 recipes included. My daughter can’t wait to try more recipes. She has her eye on the corn recipe. All of the recipes require adult help since they involve cooking and cutting. It would be nice to include a few recipes that required less adult intervention, but otherwise I am very happy with the recipes.
All recipes are vegetarian and many are vegan, though some use butter, honey, and cream cheese. Vegan adaptions can be easily made for each of these products.
We received this book as a review copy from the publisher and are happy to have added it to our collection.
Tags:Cookbooks for Kids·Cris Arbo·Early Elementary·Garden·Gardening·Jennifer Kali·Marianne Berkes·Preschoolers·Vegetable Books·Vegetables·Vegetarian Cookbooks·Vegetarian Cooking