Jolene -- Adventures of a Junk Food Queen

Children - Picture Book
60 Pages
Reviewed on 02/25/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Candace Valek for Readers' Favorite

Jolene: Adventures of a Junk Food Queen is a fantastic book. It is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Alice and Wonderland. Creative, fun, and informative. When I first picked up the book, I was unsure how any author could make clean eating enjoyable or exciting. However, Alexa Palmer and Catharine Kaufman did just that. Now I am no "greaseologist," but I know a few things about junk food and how much kids are drawn to it. This entertaining story follows Jolene, a junk food queen, in learning that there is more out there than just candy and French fries. Not only do the authors teach about healthy eating, but they also do it in a way that the reader will go on an adventure to find nutritious alternatives to their junk food ways. I tried to pick a favorite character; however, it was tough. From the Cavity Ranger, Madame Fudge, Gumball Buddies, Pizza Police, and all the way to the Blender Babes, the characters had me completely entranced. I do have to say if I had to pick one personality, the Phantom of the French Fries was my favorite. (Who doesn't love French fries!) I adore how the authors also brought in another character named Sugar Sam to keep up the adventure and show readers that people can change.

Jolene: Adventure of a Junk Food Queen is written so that parents and children of any age will want to read it from beginning to end. The illustrations by John Martinez and Hayden Mills are exciting and amusing. The watercolor artwork really worked well with the storyline. The pictures reminded me of my kids when I asked them to eat healthily. Palmer and Kaufman's design of the writing and arrangement of the images made for an appealing read. One of my favorite parts was the recipes in the back of the book. I can't wait to try those with my little Junk Food creatures. Maybe they will receive some "greenergy" themselves. Thank you so much for a brilliant book and imaginary, whimsical read!

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Jolene eats way too much junk food. She even wears it: on her clothes, in her hair, as shoes. The little girl is a vision of the commonly repeated phrase, ‘you are what you eat.’ Her mother is distraught by this junk food craze; her classmates are disgusted and refuse to be friends with her, except for Sugar Sam who’s just as hooked on junk food. Jolene enjoys being what the others call her: the Junk Food Queen. Then, one night, she has a dream that changes everything. It starts with a cowboy intent on drilling her rotting teeth. She meets other epic food characters, some good and some not so good. Which way will Jolene turn? Healthy eating? Or back to being the Junk Food Queen?

Alexa Palmer and Catharine Kaufman’s early reader, Jolene: Adventures of a Junk Food Queen, is a fun story that effectively teaches young readers the importance of eating healthy foods. The plot follows Jolene through her crazy junk food addiction that literally takes over her life. I’m sure many of the young readers will be disgusted with Jolene’s obsession, especially her underwear which was made out of pink taffy – yuck! The plot intensifies as she’s confronted with her healthy-eating classmates. The climax, however, is the dream that frightens her into re-thinking her junk food addiction. The language is simple to help young readers follow along and the colorful illustrations carry the story forward. The characters are well-developed and the setting (mostly made from junk food) is told with flair and humor. This is a fun story, but also a good educational read.

Edith Wairimu

Jolene: Adventures of a Junk Food Queen by Alexa Palmer and Catharine Kaufman is an adventure-filled picture book with important lessons. Jolene loved her junk food so much that she even dreamed about it. She acted like the Junk Food Queen and even wore her junk food to school despite her mother’s protests. At school, she liked to spend time with her friend, Sugar Sam, but loved eating his chocolate dirt cup even more. Sugar Sam did not like Soy Boy’s lunch and thought it was sickening. One day, Jolene’s junk food dreams are interrupted by a dark cloud and a lanky cowboy with metal teeth appears. The Cavity Ranger warns Jolene about cavities caused by junk food. She meets other fascinating characters in her journey which takes her through a new remarkable world that inspires her to eat better and adopt healthy eating habits.

Adventures of a Junk Food Queen is an imaginative story that builds a fascinating world filled with many exciting characters. Every page opens to a new thrilling scene with crucial lessons that will help children to appreciate healthy eating habits and their benefits. I loved how the story shows that healthy food does not have to be boring and discusses the topic of health and wellness in a way that children can understand and easily adopt in their daily lives. It even includes simple healthy smoothie recipes that use accessible ingredients at the end of the story, which children can use to make their own smoothies. The illustrations included are creative and vibrant, and they enrich the story. Adventures of a Junk Food Queen by Alexa Palmer and Catharine Kaufman is a brilliant children’s book that shows how healthy meals can still be yummy and fun to make.

Philip Van Heusen

Alexa Palmer and Catharine Kaufman have created an intriguing list of characters in the children’s book Jolene—Adventures of a Junk Food Queen. At the beginning of the story, Jolene is the Junk Food Queen. She loves junk food. She does not like nor wants to try eating healthily. In her eyes, junk food is the only way to eat. But, of course, eating just junk food can and will affect all areas of your life. Jolene needs to change her practices. One night, she dreams and learns the joy of eating healthily. Come join Jolene as she learns the dark side of junk food and then is exposed to the delight of healthy food. Will Jolene be scared into healthy eating by The Cavity Ranger, or will exposure to The Blender Babes and their friends do the trick? This book will keep your child’s attention. The artwork is captivating.

Junk Food Queen Jolene refuses to even entertain the idea that she might enjoy healthy food. You and your child will go on a delightful journey through junk food into the land of The Goody Kingdom with Alexa Palmer and Catharine Kaufman. Children will learn about healthy food through the various characters. This fun-to-read book tells how junk food destroyed the lives of many, including The Phantom of the French Fries, Doctor-Do-Dye, and others. Salad Head Fred and his cousin, Salad Head Ted, enter the story to show Jolene a better way. Join her in her adventure to health and good eating. Jolene—Adventures of a Junk Food Queen is a great book to read with your child and discuss why healthy eating is so important. There are so many benefits to healthy food that every parent should want their child to eat healthily. Healthy food can be tasty and satisfying. This book will show the way and includes some healthy smoothie recipes to try with your child.