Squash Boom Beet

Squash Boom Beet

An Alphabet for Healthy, Adventurous Eaters

Children - Educational
56 Pages
Reviewed on 05/26/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Lisa Maxbauer Price started her publishing career in New York City, working as a magazine writer and editor. After 10 years in the field, she moved to the Midwest, where she continued to contribute to national publications, focusing on health and nutrition. She has also blogged about parenting for The New York Times.

In 2016 she published her first children's book, a fun, colorful field guide for farm foods called "Squash Boom Beet: An Alphabet for Healthy, Adventurous Eaters." She wrote and photographed all 56 pages. Today, Maxbauer Price lives in Northern Michigan with her husband and three children and is a contributing writer at First for Women magazine.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

There are twenty-six letters in the English alphabet and, believe it or not, these letters can and do create a colorful menagerie of healthy food that grows in our gardens or in a garden nearby. From A is for asparagus and artichoke to Z is for zucchini, the intriguing possibilities of healthy foods to eat can be an adventure worth exploring.

Author Lisa Maxbauer Price’s children’s alphabet book, Squash Boom Beet: An Alphabet for Healthy, Adventurous Eaters, presents a different, healthier perspective to learning the alphabet. Why not learn about healthy foods at the same time? The book ends with the author’s invitation to the young reader to add photographs or drawings of their own discoveries in the realm of healthy eating. The author introduces each new vegetable with a playful, whimsical description, so that even the least adventurous young reader will be tempted to try one or more of the alphabetical smorgasbord. There is much to choose, from flowering chives and fava beans to fairy tale eggplant and rocket lettuce and more.

Writing in rhyming verse, the author introduces each new vegetable with an interesting twist: “Dinosaur kale feels like an elephant's wrinkled skin. Watch leaves turn to liquid after a blender spin.” Or: “Leeks are onions with palm trees on top. On the bottom, find hairy roots like a mop.” The intent is to amuse and entertain and it does just that and more. Coupled with beautiful photograph collages, this book is both an educational and a nourishing treat, far more than just an alphabet and a lesson in healthy eating.

Jack Magnus

Squash Boom Beet: An Alphabet for Healthy, Adventurous Eaters is a children's educational book written and illustrated by Lisa Maxbauer Price. Most kids, and adults for that matter, only see vegetables as those somewhat bland or boring things that sit, and are usually ignored, on a dinner plate, but they can be so much more than that. Price takes children on a outdoor nature adventure to see vegetables in their own environment -- and not just peas and carrots. Squash Boom Beat resonates with the rhythms and cadence of a march as the author introduces each letter of the alphabet with one or more types of farm-fresh vegetables. Most of them are exotic, with bright, flashy colors and strange shapes -- the stems on one root vegetable look like a catfish's feelers and the carrots the author does include in her lexicon come in a variety of vivid colors. Price pairs each letter of the alphabet with at least one bright and bold photograph. At the end of the book, she includes a listing of the farms, farmers' markets and community gardens where she took her photographs and found her very intriguing subjects.

Price's photographs look good enough to eat in her children's educational book entitled Squash Boom Beet: An Alphabet for Healthy, Adventurous Eaters. The book features the best of produce caught at the peak of perfection and complete with zany colors, peculiar shapes and descriptions of the tastes each vegetable is known for. While I had to seriously question whether I'd want to chew on a flowering chive stem as a snack, I was impressed by both the presentation and the nutritious promise implicit in this book. While some kids are inevitably going to turn up their noses at beets, no matter how attractively they're presented, there's a lot in this book to turn kids on and tempt them into trying new vegetables and getting involved in the process of growing, harvesting, and finding them. Squash Boom Beet: An Alphabet for Healthy, Adventurous Eaters brings healthy eating for children to a whole new level. It's most highly recommended.

Kim Anisi

Squash Boom Beet by Lisa Maxbauer Price is a book all about vegetables. Don't turn away now! It is a rather exciting book about vegetables, especially if you know little about the huge variety of exciting veggies out there. This book provides you and your kids with many colorful pages that make the veggies jump out at you with their interesting stories. You can either read the book to your kids, especially if you struggle with kids who don't like veggies much, or give it to them to read on their own. It is an easy, yet interesting read about veggies that even adults might not yet have heard about.

While I have no children, apart from my chickens, I did enjoy Squash Boom Beet by Lisa Maxbauer Price from the perspective of someone who works on an organic vegetable farm. I love books that encourage people to learn more about the great variety out there. Many people (not just kids - adults are even worse) just know peas, one or two types of beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and the usual greens that you have on your plate. Most people wouldn't have an idea about rainbow chard or curly kale. So it is very nice to see such a beautifully designed book that shows how colorful and interesting vegetables can be. While this book is aimed at kids, some adults would do well to have a look at it, too. This book proves that veggies are fun and, in the end, they are also a lot healthier for you than meat and greasy foods!