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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.