The Children's Book Compass

A Fun Beginning Reader

Posted on: February 2, 2012

Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider.  (2011).  47 pages.  Clarion Books.  Ages 5-9.  Beginning Reader.

Josh Schneider has created a fun and inventive story about kids who are picky eaters.  James is the  picky eater and when he objects to foods like broccoli, he is clear about how he feels about it – “It’s disgusting.”  When James asks, “What else is there?”  his father tells him about alternatives – dirt “mixed by specially trained earthworms…,”  Or, “fine gum carefully chewed one thousand times by special children with very clean teeth, …”  Or, a “…very sweaty sock, soaked in sweat sweated by the world’s fastest and tastiest runner who was fed nothing but apples and cinnamon for three months before running a marathon in this very sock.”  …”  Each of the five chapters features father’s hilarious suggestions of alternatives to the foods James doesn’t like.  Finally, James discovers that if he tries the foods he objects to, he just might like them.  The sprightly illustrations add to the fun and enjoyment of this book.  Winner of The Geisel (Dr. Seuss) Award given for the most distinguished American beginning reader.

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