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Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Please use this sub-forum to discuss both middle-grade and younger children's books, including picture books, easy readers, and children's chapter books. Topics for books aimed at children 12 and under go in this forum.

Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#1 by bookowlie
» 17 Oct 2017, 12:04

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!" by Melissa Kent.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by bookowlie
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Broccoli Trees? Yes Please! is a children’s picture book written by Melissa Kent and illustrated by Tara Johnson. A monkey takes a young boy on an adventure in order to show him that healthy foods can be fun to eat. Like most kids, the boy doesn’t like eating vegetables, but he might be persuaded to without even realizing it. The monkey treats each food like a little game of pretend - polar bears dancing on ice around snow-covered cauliflower trees, a beaver using carrot sticks to build a wall, etc.

The story is written completely in rhyme. The author has an easy, casual writing style which fits nicely with the lively storyline. There are no awkwardly worded lines included to satisfy the rhyme scheme. Each short page of verse contains a colorful illustration that aptly describes the action.

From the very first page, this book screams fun. The monkey looks like he stepped out of central casting as the ringleader of a circus cartoon. Wearing a vest, bowtie, and top hat, the animal comes alive on the pages with his expressive mannerisms. The boy is also vividly drawn as he takes turns being disgusted with each food and happily swept up in the edible adventure. Initially, I was disappointed the two characters were not given names. After finishing the book, I realized using proper names might not have worked as well within the rhyme scheme.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and already started thinking it could easily be turned into a series. Each book could be about a different group of foods or could even focus on different themes – for example, being afraid to go to the doctor or not wanting to do homework. The possibilities are endless.

Most of the words are relatively easy to understand and the pictures provide good visual cues. The book would be a nice selection for emergent readers who have already mastered the beginning stages of a few simple words on each page. For the younger set (3 to 5 year olds), it would make a good story for bedtime or to be read during snack time. What better way to get children to eat a plate of healthy snacks than reading a fun story about the specific foods?

This book has easily earned the highest rating, 4 out of 4 stars. It is both educational and entertaining. The story might spur children and parents to invent imaginative games or stories during mealtimes. I wholeheartedly recommend this short book to children ages 3-8. It just might turn a picky eater into someone who is eager to try new foods.

******
Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!
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Re: Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#2 by gali
» 17 Oct 2017, 22:19

Sounds like a cute book for kids. It is nice that the book is both educational and entertaining. I have read to my son several similar books and they didn't affect his food habits, but it is good that the book shows kids that healthy foods can be fun to eat. Thank you for the great review!
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Re: Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#3 by kwahu
» 18 Oct 2017, 00:04

This book can really be persuasive for kids;especially those that take forever to finish their food. Its also both educative and fun.
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Re: Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#4 by Salsabila
» 18 Oct 2017, 00:15

Great book for kids. Really educational and helpful to parents.
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Re: Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#5 by Omoneka Ekhaizor
» 18 Oct 2017, 02:04

Nice adventure story. Adding a little bit of fun often makes children do what they don't like doing.
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Re: Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#6 by kislany
» 18 Oct 2017, 03:43

Now, this is what I call an instructive book that is also entertaining. Especially today, when eating healthy is so important, such a book is a godsend. Enjoyed reading your review, bookowlie.
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Re: Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#7 by KlareAllison
» 18 Oct 2017, 04:31

I think Broccoli Trees? Yes Please! by Melissa Kent is a beautiful children's book. The playful manner she tries to get children's attention and interest in vegs is super cool. Good review, bookowlie.
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Re: Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#8 by kandscreeley
» 18 Oct 2017, 07:16

Wow! This sounds like a great book. I love that the author turned something that all kids hate into a fun book. Hopefully this would help many kids eat their veggies. Plus, as you say, I could see it easily being a series! Thanks for a great review about a lovely children's book!
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Re: Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#9 by Star88
» 18 Oct 2017, 08:41

This sounds like a book I should get for my little cousins. Maybe they might be convinced to try more foods.
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Re: Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#10 by bookowlie
» 18 Oct 2017, 11:15

Thanks everyone for the nice feedback! It's challenging to get kids to eat vegetables! Jerry Seinfeld's (the comedian) wife published two cookbooks that have recipes where you "hide" veggies and other healthy ingredients in dishes such as turkey burgers, spaghetti pie, etc. I tried a few of the recipes and everyone in the family loved them. For example, you mix chopped up mushrooms and zucchini into the ground turkey and make mini burgers. The spaghetti pie included broccoli and another cut-up veggie (I forget which one) mixed in, along with a little cottage cheese. It was also very tasty.
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Re: Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#11 by kandscreeley
» 18 Oct 2017, 12:03

I've seen recipes like that. A lot of people put carrots in mac and cheese as well.
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Re: Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#12 by bookowlie
» 18 Oct 2017, 12:06

kandscreeley wrote:I've seen recipes like that. A lot of people put carrots in mac and cheese as well.


I think Rachael Ray has a recipe called Mac and Trees or something like that - it's mac and cheese with broccoli thrown in.
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Re: Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#13 by MsTri
» 18 Oct 2017, 19:39

What a fun review for what sounds like a fun book. You totally had me at, "The monkey looks like he stepped out of central casting as the ringleader of a circus cartoon." Ha ha ha!.. I'm really a big kid at heart, so I'll read a children's story in a heartbeat and this sounds like a goodie...besides, who can resist broccoli trees?! (broccoli and cauliflower are my personal faves, btw). I know a few children who could also use this book, as well, as they're at that age where veggies might as well be poison. This is def going on my list of must-reads.
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Re: Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#14 by Gingerbo0ks
» 19 Oct 2017, 01:34

I really like the title, it made me giggle. Sounds like a fun but educational book for kids. The best children's books always have that bit extra, and this book seems to offer that.
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Re: Official Review: Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!

Post Number:#15 by CatInTheHat
» 19 Oct 2017, 08:49

I would have loved to have had this book when my kids were little! It sounds like such a fun way to talk about nutrition, without the kids realizing that they are learning.
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