Thursday, May 29, 2008

Review: Henry and the Hidden Veggie Garden

Summary: Meet Henry. He's a typical kid who likes television and video games, pizza, and burgers. One thing he doesn't like is vegetables. When Henry's mother sees him hiding his veggies one night, she decides it's time for him to visit his older cousin Huck. Huck lives on a farm in the middle of the country.

Henry is skeptical at first about life on the farm, but soon he makes friends with dogs, pigs, and a shy horse. Huck introduces him to crispy fresh foods he's never seen before. But Henry's not sure what you make of the baskets of vegetables that everyone else seems to love. Then Huck lets Henry in on a secret, and everything changes... -- book jacket

I was so excited when I was asked to read HENRY AND THE HIDDEN VEGGIE GARDEN by Kimberly Williams-Paisley for a number of reasons. Although I do buy a lot of children's books, I don't receive many requests to feature them on my blog. I love reading to my kids and sharing my love of books with them; and I thought this book would be perfect for my 3 1/2 year old son who doesn't eat any vegetables. In addition, I've always considered myself a fan of Kimberly Williams-Paisley ever since her "Father of the Bride" days.

My kids probably fall right between the target ages for HENRY AND THE HIDDEN VEGGIE GARDEN. The book is actually a little young for my 8 1/2 year old daughter (who already loves veggies anyway); and I was a little worried that it might be a too long for my son, but it did manage to hold his attention. I definitely think the book is appropriate for preschool through early elementary school age children. The pictures are very colorful and my son enjoyed looking at them while I read the story. I wasn't sure how much of the story he would retain; but when I asked him some questions afterwards, he totally "got it" -- he said that Henry likes to eat vegetables now.

Like many of us moms, Ms. Williams-Paisley is concerned about the health of children in today's world. She joined Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressings, along with their School Nutrition Foundation and Produce for Better Health Foundation, to support their "Love Your Veggies" program. This program gives grants to schools that want their students to have better access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Click here if you would like to see Kimberly Williams-Paisley's public service announcement.

I strongly recommend this book if you're like me and want your children to eat healthier. It's a total bargain at $5.00, and you can order it here. It's a good thing that I liked the story since I'm pretty sure that I'll be reading this book many more times -- my son is now calling it "his favorite." Hopefully, the lesson in the story will wear off on him and he'll learn to love his veggies. I'll just have to see the what happens the next time I try to serve him green beans or broccoli!


Anonymous said...

Love the cover of the book! :)

Bree said...

I loved watching her in the Father of the Bride movies as well. They are some types of movies you can watch over and over. I didn't know she became a children's author!

Unknown said...

Dear Booking Mama,
A new resource being use to improve kid’s nutritional status is a new book “The ABC’s of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond.” Out only a few months and already being bought in quantity for class use. I hope parents and teachers interested in getting kids to develop a friendly attitude towards fruits and vegetables should take a look at it.
It is designed for kids of all ages as it is two books in one – children first learn their alphabet through produce poems and then go on to hundreds of related activities. Coauthored by best-selling food writer David Goldbeck (me)and Jim Henson writer Steve Charney. More at