Review Blog

Aug 12 2015

The Healthy Harvest by Emma Martin

cover image

Ill. by Graeme Compton. Little Steps Publishing, 2014. ISBN 9781925117134
Picture book. Meet Harry Harvester who wants to help our very youngest readers learn about the food they buy in the shops so they can learn about the five food groups and make healthy choices and "keep sickness away." His friend Alfie Apple introduces fruit - where it grows, how much we need each day and why it's good for us - while Carly Carrot does the same for vegetables. Charlie Cheese tells us about dairy products and Harry's best friend Wally Wheat introduces grains and cereals. Sammy Salmon has the big job of teaching about proteins in all their guises and finally there is Tommy Takeaway with a message about the "sometimes foods".
With childhood obesity on the rise and a recent survey in the ACT showing that over 80% of all food advertising aimed at children is for those "sometimes foods" the message about healthy eating has never been more important. While it is not the children of the target age range who buy the food, they do have "pester power" so encapsulating such an important message in rhyme and with fun characters who could become household names this is an important book to have and promote both to teachers and students. It could form the core component of a unit of work on healthy eating as well as an investigation about where our food comes from. Eggs don't magically grow in cartons in the supermarket chilled foods section. The final two pages show the recommended amounts of each food group each age group should have each day and many might find it interesting to keep a food diary and track just what goes into their mouths. They may be surprised!
The author, Emma Martin, is well qualified to write this book and accompanied by charming illustrations which will appeal to the children, it is a refreshing and welcome addition to a topic that has been covered so often already.
Barbara Braxton

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