The ABCs of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond
by Steve Charney & David Goldbeck
Review by Cynthia Mosher
This is a veggie ABC book for elementary age children, beautifully illustrated by Marie Burgaleta Larson, which presents fruits and vegetables in a fun way. The book is in two parts—sort of like two books in one. Part one presents the alphabet using poetry and slips in educational tidbits at the same time. I especially liked the diversity presented in the book by way of images and in the poems themselves:
J is for jicama (HEE-ka-ma).
They're eaten sliced or whole.
If you pronounce the J like H,
you're speaking Espanol!
The second part of the book takes each item presented for it's alphabet letter and gives more info and fun through jokes and projects to do. Jicama, which represented the letter J in part one of the book, is covered in "Beyond J" with recipes using jicamas: Jicama Dip-ama and Mexican Confetti. Be aware that a few of the recipes do contain non-vegan ingredients such as milk and honey. So be prepared to come up with substitutes for your vegan children to try out the recipes.
There's also a section about the J poem that explains a bit more about the Spanish language and how different letters are pronounced differently in other languages. Along with that is a book recommendation to take the Spanish learning a step further and a map showing where Spanish is spoken and what some other Mexican foods are.
My children thoroughly enjoyed this book and are telling the jokes to their friends and doing the "tricks" presented, such as carrot curls in ice water for our salads. This is a fun read for children and parents to share. It makes a great gift book too!
Cynthia Mosher is the Editor of VegFamily, the Magazine for Vegan Family Living.