06 July 2011

Summer Reading: Eating the Rainbow and Too Many Pears!

We are a reading family, and this summer the kids and I are absorbing new books as fast as we can for all of the summer reading programs we've joined! Last night's reads were both published by a company called Star Bright Books, and though the books are targeted for different age groups, all three kids had a ball reading both of them together.
It can be a challenge to get little ones to eat a variety of foods, or harder yet, try new ones, and Eating the Rainbow is here to help! This brightly-colored chunky board book features a variety of beautiful babies snacking on an even more varied selection of healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products. Each two-page spread highlights foods of a particular color, encouraging little readers to identify both the colors and the foods pictured. Children are as excited to recognize common fare such as oranges and grapes as they are to learn new foods, like litchis, coconut or figs. The publisher suggests this book for the 0-2 age range, but three-year-old Franklin laughed each time the page was turned and he got to 'discover' the next color, and even the big kids enjoyed seeing photos of foods they'd never heard of before. The interesting, colorful and simply-presented content makes this beautiful book the kind Franklin will pick up and pore over in the car even when there's no one reading it to him. I especially appreciate a line on the back of the book reminding me to "Make sure your child sees you eating a rainbow of foods!" I feel inspired to head out to Ledgewood farms now and see if I can lay my hands on some litchis and maybe a guava! What's summertime for, if not to experiment a little?

Publisher information on the book:
ISBN 978-1-59572-174-7
20 pages, 5 3/4"x5 3/4", ages 0-2
Board Book, $6.95
Note: this title is available in English, French/English, Portuguese/English, Spanish, Spanish/English and Vietnamese/English

Our second book of the night, Too Many Pears! by Jackie French, is a lighthearted story about a friendly-looking but mischievous cow named Pamela, who might just eat all of the pears if Amy doesn't stop her! Though all of our kids enjoyed the story (advertised for the 3-7 year old crowd), our six-year-old daughter laughed out loud at the funny illustrations, the myriad ways Pamela finds to nibble on pears, and also at the surprising appearance of a wombat in the story (have we ever seen a wombat in a story before??) There might even be a little lesson about eating too much in here...maybe! An enjoyable summer read, and a perfectly respectable inclusion on the well-read child's summer reading log!

Publisher information on the book:
by Jackie French
illustrated by Bruce Whatley
ISBN 978-1-932065-47-3
32 pages, 10 1/4"x9 1/8", ages 3-7
Hardback, $16.95; paperback available
This title is available in English, Japanese/English, Portuguese/English, Spanish/English

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