This here city mama is lucky that my children have grandparents in the country who grow tomatoes and kale and sweet peas and wild strawberries, so that they can learn that no, vegetables do not come from aisle 3. I’ve always thought that learning about food, from planting to harvest, was the best way to get kids interested in it. And, hopefully, eating it.
So I was delighted to discover We Grew It, Let’s Eat It, an absolutely lovely book by NPR producer Justine Kenin. It’s the kind of book you’d expect to find in the most progressive preschool or early grade classroom, with lots of colorful photos from Becky Lettenberger to bring the garden-to-table narrative to life.
The story features wins Annie and Veda — Kenin’s own children, and actually, the real authors of the book — learning about planting and harvesting via a community garden in their local DC neighborhood. The prose is educational of course, and more engaging than you might expect; it’s become a favorite with my own girls who beg me to read just one more page every night. They just adore seeing girls that they can relate to, learning about the stuff they’re interested in too.
I especially love that it’s teaching kids not to be afraid of earthworms — or vegetables for that matter. Fresh garden lettuce in my girls’ tummies and this book in their head? Makes bedtime very very happy. Especially for me.