Review By HUYEN MACMICHAEL
I was excited to receive a publisher’s review copy of Green Smoothie Magic by Victoria Boutenko, a raw food diet pioneer and author of Green for Life (Amazon affiliate link). At first glance, I thought the story was too lengthy and slow-paced to keep my seven-year-old’s interest (definitely too lengthy for my 17-month-old’s attention span), but 56 fully color-illustrated pages about plant magic was easily digestible to my chapter-book-reading vegan daughter. I left it on the kitchen table, knowing she’d see it. Presto! She read it in one sitting over breakfast and when I asked her what she thought, she said “Three stars. [out of three] And I want to make the recipe in the back.” Score! This book is a winner in my book especially since it interests her in eating green. We enjoy fruit smoothies with a few leaves of kale but I am looking forward to attempting greener smoothies, starting with the recipe at the end of the book.
The story begins with Nic, a six-year-old boy who introduces his family and talks about how his dad explains how tree leaves perform “true magic.” The dad continues by saying, “Plants produce a special green juice from sunlight… called chlo-ro-phyll” and they use it to “build their leaves, branches, bark, roots, and even trunks.” I love the parallel of green smoothies and the plants’ green juice to build a healthy body. The writing is clever and cute and clearly helps kids relate to Nic, who wants to grow big and strong like his dad and the oak trees he admires at the park. Nic attempts to eat more greens at dinner and finds he does not like the taste; again, something many kids can relate to. The pace of the story is unrushed and the parents are creative and patient in their encouragement of healthier eating.
I absolutely love the colorful watercolor illustrations by Russian artist Katya Korobkina- it matches the youthful, enthusiastic Nic. Although the book seems lengthy, there are pages with only two or so lines of text. The pacing of the story allows the readers to give the illustrations the attention they deserve. This is one of my new favorite children’s books- hope it will magically appear on your child’s bookshelf.