Recently I set out to find books my son and I could read together that would encourage healthy eating without requiring any dairy deprogramming afterwards (kids are always being told to drink lots of milk for "strong bones and teeth", with no mention of other sources of calcium).
The first book we ordered, The Children's Health Food Book, sounded promising: superhero "Health Guardians" like "Vegetarian Warrior" and "Fruitarian Fighter" do battle against the evil "Meat Monster" and "Sugar Demon". Sounds perfect for an eight-year-old!
But when we sat down together to read the book we both became...confused. What does the author mean by "mucus"? Is this some kind of raw food thing? Mucus, he says, causes all the adult diseases and all childhood illnesses like colds, flus, and asthma. Mucus comes from eating "thick gooey food" like meat, milk, sugar, and starch. I told shmoo my best guess was that the author was referring to atherosclerosis, but I really have no idea.
My son's biggest complaint was the lack of story line; the book reads more like a lesson than the action-adventure he had been hoping for. 1 star.
Next came The Race Against Junk Food, starring the S.N.A.K. Posse ("Super Nutritionally Active Kids"). The message here is clear, straightforward, and universally acceptable: junk food and cigarettes are BAD; fruits, vegetables, and exercise are GOOD.
The author uses an action-packed story to get the point across, combined with colorful, detailed illustrations (we loved all the exercising vegetables). Shmoo liked sitting down with this one; he carefully analyzed each picture and read the story several times on his own. I only wish a competent editor had helped with punctuation and sentence structure; better writing could have made this story easier to read. 4 stars.