Friday, October 4, 2013

Fall Harvest of Picture Books: Beans and Broccoli


Fresh veggies are still coming to farm stands in my area, but they won’t be for long. It’s time to harvest up the best of new and old books for young readers on beans and broccoli.

First up is the new picture book How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans (Dial, 2013) written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Mark Fearing.

She knows green beans are bad. 

That’s why she refuses to eat them.

But Martha has no idea just how bad green beans can be until…a passel of gun-toting, mustache-wearing, grizzled green beans kidnap her parents.


That’s just the start of this romp—great for a fall story-time that goes beyond apples. 

You’ll find silly fun and themes a-plenty: vegetables we love to hate, the perils of having our wishes fulfilled, and the nastiness of facial hair when seen on green beans.

If Martha’s story doesn’t get young readers eating their veggies, then Josh Schneider’s Tales for Very Picky Eaters (Clarion, 2011) should do the trick.

Short, simple chapters in this beginning reader book cover a very serious topic: nasty, repulsive foods we’d rather not eat. The first is “The Tale of the Disgusting Broccoli.”

I won’t be a spoiler but will say that one of the silliest alternatives to broccoli proposed is “fine gum, carefully chewed one thousand times by special children with very clean teeth.” (You’ll have to check out the illustrations to see how and why this got me laughing.)

Tales for Very Picky Eaters has amusing art and slimy eggs. It’s also a 2012 Winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, so it should appeal to even the pickiest beginning readers.

Lastly, although it’s not recent, I have to mention a personal favorite: Green Beans by Elizabeth Thomas, illustrated by Vicki Jo Redenbaugh.

This was the first original picture book I edited when working at Carolrhoda Books, part of Lerner Publishing. 

Many years have passed since it first came out (all the way back in 1992?!!), but it’s still a great read about trust, love, patience…and vegetables.

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, great books! I love the illustrations! Thank you for posting this.

    Ann@Blogging E-books

    ReplyDelete