This book got my kids to eat tomatoes. Great books for life lessons.

Do you remember that book Little Red Hen? It was one of those Golden Book stories that we all had and it was about this hen who asked the other farm animals to help her plant grain, but no one would help. Come harvest time, she asks again for help, again to no avail. But when she’s baked a nice loaf of bread from it, all the lazy animals want in on the feast and she tells them in no uncertain terms to take a hike.

Even at the tender age of five, I understood that lesson and have always been one to pitch in when needed (maybe, selfishly, because I think there might be something for me in the end?). At any rate, it made an impact on me and I remember it being one of my favorite books.

My current favorite kids’ book is not as virtuous as Little Red Hen, but it has definitely made a big difference in my kids’ behavior. First of all, I LOVE Charlie & Lola books. All of them are super cute and they really do have a valuable lesson, no matter how frivolous the story may seem. The book titled I Will Never, Not Ever, Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child is about picky eater Lola who refuses to eat just about anything edible. To counteract this, her clever brother Charlie invents this fantastical stories about the origin of certain foods that Lola would never normally consider. Carrots are not carrots—they are Orange Twiglets from Jupiter. Mashed potatoes are not mashed potatoes—they are cloud fluff from the tippy-top of Mt. Fuji. And fish sticks? They are Mermaid Food from the Grocery Store Under the Sea.

The story goes on and on and the food aliases becomes so ridiculous, everyone is laughing and Lola, of course, tries (and likes!) everything in the end. Now during mealtimes, my kids require me to come up with my own pseudonyms for what’s on our plates. It’s taught them to be more adventurous with trying new things and has taught me to take a more creative approach to problem solving. And they will try everything if I call it something silly. Even cherry tomatoes (Moonsquirters).

What favorite books have made a difference in your kids or family life? Share with us here so we know we’re buying a keeper!

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3 Responses

  1. Jessie N.

    We love this book too! We have the “pop-up” version and my daughter wants to read it every night. It has definitely sparked her interest in different foods. She said to me just the other day, “Mom, maybe I can try those sometime.” (Pointing to the cloud fluff/mashed potatoes)

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