Eating the Alphabet!
This past week I took my daughter to our local library in search of books appropriate for summertime and gardening. She attends a childcare program two days a week and they have been talking all about planting and eating vegetables over the last few days. I thought this would be a fun way to support what they are learning in the classroom, as well as subtly address her picky eater tendencies!
While hunting through the shelves we found Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert. Although I was looking for more of a story-based book, this colorful and informative piece of narrative is a real gem!
As the title suggests, the book begins with an invitation from the author, "Apple to Zucchini, come take a look. Start eating your way through this alphabet book." From there, follow the journey through lively illustrations of fruits and vegetables, beginning with the letter "A", such as Apricot, Artichoke, Avocado, Apple and Asparagus! Next, of course is the letter "B", and so on. One of my personal favorites is "P", which includes 4 exciting pages overflowing with pictures of Peaches, Pineapple, Pear, Papaya, Plum, Persimmon, Pomegranate, Parsnips, Potato, Peas, Pumpkin and Peppers!
Within the pages, you may come across some select foods you are not familiar with, but never fear, at the end of this fabulous fruity-veggie dictionary, the author has provided a 3 page glossary of all the produce in the book. I, along with my 2 year old, have learned a lot this week! For example, did you know that an avocado is a fruit and is also known as an "alligator pear"? I always thought it was a vegetable! Also, I never knew an orange and a pomegranate are actually both considered a large berry!
Now that you have an overall view of my latest favorite food-based book, here are some activities you can use at home or in the classroom to bring the pages to life!
- Go on a scavenger hunt through your refrigerator and pantry - see what fruits and veggies you have in stock and then find them in the book! Don't forget to take a nibble!
- If your kitchen supplies are running low, take a trip to the grocery store and bring "Eating the Alphabet" with you! Pick out some new fruits and veggies and bring them home so the whole family can give them a try!
- With your little one(s), pick out some fruits and veggies they have never had! Sample taste them!
- If you are presenting this book in the classroom, use it to discover the alphabet food by food, week by week throughout the entire school year!
- Make a fruit salad or vegetable salad and then hunt through the book to find all your ingredients! Then, go to the glossary in the back to read the facts about each one!
Speech and Language Ideas:
- Talk about the colors - the artwork in the book is wonderful and really lends itself to having a "color-full" discussion with a young child
- Practice pre-reading and phonemic skills by naming the foods by letter. "BBB-Blueberry" and "BBB-Beans" - what a great way to learn a letter, practice saying the sound and sampling the foods! Now there is some hands-on learning!
The possibilities for delicious fun are endless!