|Teddy Tries a Veggie|
by Jennifer Glockner, RDN
In a time where so many meals are grabbed on the go and there is a lack of nutritional meals in the home, Teddy Tries a Veggie presents a wonderful message for young children about the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, and how they work together to fight germs. I was a bit concerned when the story started with the main character, Theodora Rose - Teddy for short, states, “veggies are NOT my thing.” The story quickly redeems itself when Teddy helps her dad in the family garden. The fruits and vegetables are labeled in the garden and easily identifiable. While in the garden, Teddy’s dad began to explain how fruits and vegetables are like musicians playing different instruments in a band. “Each one is good on its own. But, together, they rock!”
I loved the simile used by Teddy’s dad, but I’m not sure I like how the story moves forward from with the fruits and vegetables in the garden coming alive for the “Annual Garden Fair”. Each band, Ruby & the Seeds and Hartley & the Leaves, takes the stage where they sound horrible. When the Germ Squad appears to take over the garden, Teddy begins to understand what her dad was talking about with his comparison. Eaten in isolation the body does not get all of the nutrients needed, but together they help fight off disease and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Once the Germ Squad is run out of the garden, Teddy is called in for dinner where her mother is preparing a Broccoli Orange Crunch (recipe included). In my mind her family was eating Citra Orange who played the Kazoo and Rockley Broccoli who played the Ukele in the band. Maybe I could not suspend disbelief because I am an adult, but this just seemed really weird to me. I believe young children will enjoy the story and will be able to over look the ending where the family eats the band members. I would recommend this title for libraries serving young children (schools and public) as well as for families, especially when there is a picky eater in the home.
The illustrations are brightly colored and cartoonish. I like how each character is introduced with a bit of information, their likes, dislikes, and what brought them fame. It allows the reader to know more about each character (including the vegetables) without having to include too much background information in the story.
Author, Jennifer Glockner is a registered dietitian nutritionist. According to the information “About the Author” she is “passionate about empowering kids to become smart eaters who use food as a lifelong tool to prevent disease and promote wellness.
*To comply with new guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission, Smith Publicity has provided a copy of Teddy Tries a Veggie in eBook format for review purposes. This review is my opinion and is in no way influenced by the publishing company.