Saturday, February 9, 2008
I WILL NEVER NOT EVER EAT A TOMATO (Genre: Picture Book/module 2)
Title: I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
Author: Lauren Child
Illustrator: Lauren Child
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: September 2003
Brother and sister, Charlie and Lola of the Disney Playhouse series of the same name, return in another book. This time Charlie is trying to convince picky eater, aka Lola, to try foods that she would normally reject. At the beginning of this text Lola lists quite a long set of dislikes and won't eats in order to reject the meal being set before her. However in his mature and charming manner, Charlie convinces Lola that the various food items are merely alien foodstuffs and Lola gobbles them up rather than allow such delicacies to go untouched.
As I have said before in the But Excuse Me That Is My Book review, while I find these books to be appealing to the children for whom they are written, ages three to eight approximately, this book even more so than But Excuse Me puts Charlie in the role of the absentee parent. In fact the text states, "Sometimes Mom and Dad ask me to give Lola her dinner." (p. 1) I'm not entirely certain how old Charlie is, but I don't ask my eight-year-old son to convince my four-year-old son to eat his veggies.
That having been said, this text certainly is creative in its nomenclature of the various foodstuffs that Lola would normally reject. The carrots are not carrots but instead are "twiglets from Jupiter." (p. 10) The green peas are "green drops from Greenland" (p. 12) which are "so incredibly rare" (p.14) as Charlie offers to remove Lola's serving and consume it himself. I particularly enjoy when Lola turns the tables on Charlie and requests the dreaded tomatoes, which are not tomatoes but instead "moonsquirters." (p. 28)
Certainly every parent of a picky or fussy eater could use this book as a resource for encouraging varied and healthy eating.