Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Vegetable Alphabet Book

The Vegetable Alphabet Book

Jerry Pallotta, Bob Thomson
Illustrator:  Edgar Stewart 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 10
Charlesbridge Publishing, 1992   ISBN: 978-0881064681

Put on your boots and gardening gloves because we are going to join Bob Thomson, the former host of a gardening show, in the garden. He is going to show us how to plant things and we are going to learn about all kinds of garden vegetables, including some which you have probably never even heard of.

Bob begins by showing us how to prepare the ground and how to plant seeds. Then he moves on to tell us all kinds of interesting things about garden vegetables. On the A page he tells us about asparagus. These plants, unlike many other vegetables, don't need to be planted from seed every year because they are perennials.

After the asparagus we move on to beets and carrots, which are both root vegetables. You will find another root vegetable on the N page. This one is the Norland potato. This is only one of three hundred kinds of potato species. There are even some potatoes which are blue in color.

On to the D page. Here you will meet a large white radish which is called a Daikon. It looks rather like a very long white carrot. Another vegetable which you might not have heard of can be found on the F page. Fiddleheads "are young ferns that are harvested before they uncurl."

Sometimes the author gives us a treat and we find two vegetables highlighted on a letter page. For the letter P for example, he tells us about peanuts and popcorn. Popcorn kernels are smaller than the ones that you find in sweet corn. They dry well too.

This stunningly illustrated picture book not only describes all kinds of vegetables in an entertaining way, but readers will also find clever little jokes in the text and artwork which they are sure to enjoy. Readers may be so interested by what they read that they might want to start a vegetable garden of their own. After all, wouldn't it be fun to grow a vegetable that looks like "an alien spaceship with lots of antennas?"

This is one of a series of alphabet books written by Jerry Pallotta.