Sweet Potato Pete and the Green Garden Gang by Art Ehrens is a fun-loving picture book about the value of vegetables and nutrition. It is accompanied by an audio track. Sweet Potato Pete, a friendly boy with flaming hair like the starchy tuber he’s named for, invites children to a world of accessible, entertaining discovery of the exciting world of healthy food. A big fan of vegetables, Pete is part of a gang of other children who each favor a healthy natural food—String Bean Slim, Carrot Top Karen, Apple Andy, and others—and when he’s unable to fulfill his mission to give his wagon of sweet potatoes to the nearby town, his friends all pitch in to help them.
Art Ehrens’ capable story uses an upbeat, cheerful tone to win kids over and the cleverly inserted song—just scan the barcode in the book—will have them singing along immediately. It’s very, very catchy and well worth the brief time taken to access it. If words like “veggies are good for you” and “you need lots of iron” aren’t ringing a bell with the kids, Sweet Potato Pete and the Green Garden Gang takes things straight to them. On their level, with a colloquial voice and a lot of bouncing enthusiasm, the little character even presents some real nutritional facts. Most importantly, Pete is excited about other people and getting them the good foods that they need, and he’s part of a group of loyal friends who share his wish to help others. His goals are not only nutritious they are unselfish, and he provides a role model in more ways than just a very laudable love of fruits and vegetables.
This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.