If you are looking for a resource for kids that puts fun into developing healthy eating habits, look no further! The January 2008 release Janey Junkfood's Fresh Adventure! by Barbara Storper, MS, RD is a colorful and light-hearted book that shares the importance of eating well.
The book is written in a detective case file format from a kid's perspective. Fictional author, Tobe Fit, chronicles the eating habits of her best friend, Janey Junkfood (JJ for short, though her friend thinks JJ stands for "Janey the Juggler") and how all of the sugar she consumes is hurting her chances of making the Junior National Juggling Team. Tobe knows the importance of eating colorful, healthy foods - she just has to convince Janey that fruits and veggies are as fun and easy to enjoy as junk is, with better results!
The combination of hand-written notes, typed up reports and silly kid-style sketches and illustrated photos make the book fun for kids to pick up and flip through. The content is fact-filled and honest, but the fluffy, fun presentation makes it kid-friendly and puts the information in an easy-to-digest (pun intended) scenario. Kids are sure to enjoy it and ask to read it more than once.
As an added bonus, cut-out healthy recipe cards ("Tickets to FRESH Adventures!") enable readers to apply Tobe's fun snack lessons to their own lives. There's even a pocket in the back of the book to store the tickets once you've cut out the pages from the book.
I'd suggest this book for parent-child sharing when kids are between kindergarten - second grade (even younger if the format doesn't overwhelm the child). Book sharing between parents and children goes a LONG way . . . but that's a post for another day!
There are some fairly decent vocabulary words and concepts that could use some decoding ("investigate" and "situation" aren't typical words for the younger crowd to read!) discussing if kids aren't familiar with them ("nationals" and some of the mock newspaper articles and factual reports). Beyond that, kids can dive in and read it on their own or with friends.
Janey Junkfood's Fresh Adventure! would be a fun book to share with small groups in a classroom setting during a nutritional unit. I'm sure physical education teachers would get rave reviews from their students for integrating parts of it into their lessons (you don't need to read the entire book to get the message across)! It is great for kids to see how books and literacy really do fit into ALL areas of their lives. Books DO have a place in physical education!
What's next on my review shelf, you ask? I'm about to start the novel Dragon Wishes by Stacy Nyikos, which is a book that officially releases this month - congrats Stacy! I hope to have it read and reviewed for you soon. I'm also working up a review of the Olive the Little Woolly Bugger books I've mentioned before.
I'm still looking for more books to review for you, though! Send ideas my way - especially books from independent publishers for youth and books about fitness and wellness.