What’s for Dinner? Quirky, Squirmy Poems from the Animal World

What’s for Dinner? Quirky, Squirmy Poems from the Animal World by Katherine B. Hauth and David Clark is a nominee for the 2012-13 South Carolina Children’s Book Award. For that reason alone, I will promote this book, but I have to say that I’m not a huge fan. (It probably didn’t help that I read the book right before lunch.) I’m not a big fan of most poetry anyway, and when poems are about the disgusting eating habits of animals, I’m even less of a fan.

My students will devour this book (pun intended). It will be a good addition to animal research projects and could encourage students to write their own poems about animal or plant life cycles.

The Pea in Peanut Butter

The Pea in Peanut Butter is an excellent book for teaching kids about healthy eating, particularly having lots of “colors” in their diets.

The little girl in this story loves peanut butter and would eat it with everything if her mother would let her. (I can relate.) Her tummy doesn’t want anything but peanut butter, but, one night, when she’s looking for a nighttime snack, the girl gets locked in the pantry. It is here that the foods around her come alive and persuade her to give them a try. The girl tries healthy foods like corn, carrots, pears, kidney beans, and, yes, peas. The girl learns that she shouldn’t judge a food by its color, and that she can like other foods besides peanut butter.

This book, as I said, is great for teaching kids about healthy eating. The foods in this story even mention why they are healthy: corn helps with healthy teeth, carrots can improve eyesight, pears help skin, kidney beans help you run faster, and peas can make you smarter. Well, I don’t know how true all of those statements are, but they could serve to convince a few kids to try some foods that seem yucky to them. (An author’s note verifying food nutrition statements would have been helpful, though.)