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How much of the alphabet can you eat?
Eating the Alphabet - Lois Ehlert
Member Name: historywitch
Eating the Alphabet - Lois Ehlert
Date: 26/06/07, updated on 26/06/07 (584 review reads)
Advantages: Ideal format for young children, familiarises with a whole load of new and interesting vegetables.
Disadvantages: Strange pictures
My daughter Olivia is pretty good about eating fruit and vegetables, but I am very aware that there may be a time in the future when her tastes may change. To counter this I get her involved in choosing and buying the veg in the supermarket and the preparation of it for her tea! I also invested in a couple of books about vegetables, although I have to say I bought this one out of curiosity; what would they come up with for the more difficult letters?
“This appetizing alphabet book shows fruits and vegetables so juicy and alive, you'll wish they could jump off the page and into your mouth. Even vegetable haters will find it hard to resist the vibrantly colored collage illustrations, which make each item look fascinating and appealing.”
I am reviewing the lap sized board book version, with 28 laminated board pages. This format means it is suitable for younger children and it is recommended from 6 months-3 years. The other format (normal pages) is suitable from 18 months.
25.9 x 23.4 x 2 cm (lap sized board book)
Each white page features between two and four different fruits and vegetables in alphabetical order, with a picture and their name in capitals and lower case letters. There are no borders separating each alphabetical group, just a large capital and lower case letter beginning the relevant pages. The fruit and veg are laid out as if on a worktop and the berries etc are in the sort of tubs you might find them in at the supermarket. The broccoli and other similar vegetables are shown tied together with coloured bands, just as you would buy them.
Instead of photographs of the fruit and veg the illustrator of this book has chosen to use abstract and frankly quite odd paintings. They are brightly coloured and interesting to look at, but I have to admit that if there were no labels I would struggle to identify some of the different pictures e.g. the brussel sprouts which are shown as green circles in a tub. My daughter (2 years old) doesn’t have any problems identifying the clearer pictures, but others such as the ‘onions’ and ‘mango’ have her stumped! It is also very difficult to relate them to the produce she sees at the markets and grocer. The range covered is excellent however, ugli fruit, okra, swiss chard, radicchio, kohlrabi and kumquats are included amongst others, and are a good starting off point for discussing less familiar fruits and vegetables.
ABA’s Pick of the Lists
A Booklist Editor’s Choice
A Parenting Reading Magic Award Winner
An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award Winner
An NCTE Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Language Arts.
I really wanted to love this book, fruit/vegetables AND the alphabet sounds like a brilliant combination: you can talk about healthy eating, relate it to the food you eat and get them to find the produce in the book, thus helping with vocabulary and word identification. My daughter was eating strawberries and cream yesterday so we got the book out and she tried to find the strawberries, which led on to a conversation about the letter ‘S’ and we looked at the other produce which began with ‘S’. All good, but the illustrations really put me off, as did the fact that American names are used. I had to google for Indian Corn, Jicama, Huckleberries and Xigua and got confused looking for aubergine and courgette (under eggplant and zucchini). I would imagine this would be good for older children to discuss fruit and veg from other countries and how some things have many different names, but my daughter just got a bit confused, especially as we live in Switzerland so things already have four different names (English, German, French and Italian!!).
It’s a lovely book to share and my daughter gets it out periodically to look at the pictures on her own. I would recommend it because of its price and the fact that it is a bright, colourful informative book, which enables children to become familiarised with lots of different natural produce. I am sure there are other similar books out there, but I haven’t found one in this baby friendly format. If you can overlook the different terminology and the odd illustrations, it is a good introduction to fresh produce, healthy eating and the alphabet. I like this book and so does my daughter, its not a favourite but a useful stalwart to have in the bookbox, so 4 stars.
***Price, ISBN and Stockists***
Price: £5.50, but Amazon have it for £4.95, pretty good value. Marketplace offers start from £3.14.
ISBN:0152056882 (lap sized board book)
You can buy the other formats of this book from Amazon Marketplace as well:
Board book: 015201036X from £0.35
Paperback: 0152244360 from £0.07
Hardback: 0152244352 from £0.21
Summary: A juicy introduction to the alphabet.