One of the most popular programs I am involved with at Nurture in my decade of experience as a children's nutrition educator is Rainbow Days. On these special days, typically held in schools, kids get excited about colors and how they can taste a variety of produce in the colors of the rainbow. We play games, make recipes, and learn great nutrition lessons. What I have noticed, though, is that there are few great "leave behind" materials (like books) that would extend the learning in the classroom beyond the very exciting, but very brief, Rainbow Day.
I looked around for the right books to complement our lessons, but I couldn't find the perfect one. So I decided to write one myself.
When I consulted with my childhood friend and Emmy award winning journalist Jen Weigel, she agreed that a kids books about eating a rainbow would be a great idea. Jen thought out loud about a book that she would love to read to her own son, 7-year old Britt:
"Why not make it a journey? Britt LOVES journeys where he feels he can play a helping role in getting the protagonist to their endpoint. How about making the endpoint be a POT OF GOLD (which can symbolize great health), but we are engaging kids along the way to want to help get to the end. It would be cool to have a map or some kind of guidepost system where kids would know where they were along the journey."
Bingo. So I starting writing the manuscript, inspired largely by my work with Nurture and in particular with nutrition educator Juliette Britton. Juliette is not only a Registered Dietician but has mastered the art of motivating kids to try new foods. She encouraged me to "focus on energy as the currency". Kids want to GO, not to feel slow. Thus: Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow.
Putting Together the Team
I wanted to ensure that the book be designed with kids in mind, so I engaged Cara Frost, the Art Director at the Community School, to provide overall art direction on the project. She introduced me to the concept of "augmented reality", which mixes illustration with real-life photography. As we looked around for an illustrator, we found a brilliant match as I was cleaning up my son's (Alexander Guylay) room. I found the most amazing illustration of a wizard. I brought it to Cara, and she agreed: Alexander would be the perfect addition to our project team. Designer Colleen Quindlen kept us all in line making sure that the end product was awesome.
More about Alex
Illustrator Alexander (“Alex”) Guylay is a middle schooler at Community School in Sun Valley, Idaho. Alex knows how to fuel his body for all of the activities he enjoys, including alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, playing hockey, mountain biking, riding a scooter, and hiking. As a participant in and volunteer for Nurture programming from a very young age, Alex has absorbed and integrated nutritional advice in a fun, actionable way. Alex’s warm and witty sense of humor allows him to communicate with other kids in a way that is well-received and high impact. In 2015, Alex won a Silver Award for Academic Merit in Art, a high distinction for his dedication to the subject matter. Alex has found inspiration for his illustrations from artists Jake Parker, Alan Blackwell, Matthew Armstrong and his art teacher Cara Frost.
Cara Frost was born and raised in the desert town of Tucson, AZ. She left town on a D1 volleyball scholarship only to return to graduate from the University of Arizona with a BA degree in art and a teaching certificate for art education. After three years teaching 6-12th grade art at a public school in Tucson, she traveled to the snowy slopes of Ketchum, Idaho with her dog Maynard and began teaching at the Community School where she was able to pursue her passion of education through art exploration, process and instinct for the past five years. She continues to develop her own style of art through ceramic sculpture, painting, and stained glass and the love of doodling. It has been an amazing opportunity for Cara to be a part of the discovery and connection between the characters of Kathryn and Alex's passionate voices within the book, Give it a Go, Eat a Rainbow.
More about Colleen
Colleen has a diverse education and experience which play nicely together in her organization obsession and love of all things biking, outdoors, and coaching. Her natural logistical understanding comes from her in-depth work in
the microbiology and biotechnology fields, while Colleen's creative side continues to branch from her background in literature, work as an art teacher, and coaching triathlon training to beginner and intermediate athletes. Colleen is a mix of Martha Stewart and MacGyver who can't help but skip in the outdoors and deeply enjoy the science and beauty of bikes. She excels at taking ideas and mapping an accurate, feasible, and reliable plan for making them reality. She has a Bachelor of Science (focus, microbiology) and a Bachelor of English degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State) and a Masters of Kinesiology from The University of Texas.
Every book is a team effort. We want to give a special Shout Out to everyone else involved with the project:
Early Book Development
Elena Guylay helped to fix the rhymes, cadence, and even the overall story line. If it weren't for Elena, Blake wouldn't have received the special #1 award (and in her words, "kids would have felt jipped"). She helped with the cover design, video work and overall flow of the book. Elena was quality control checkpoint #1, and we thank her for that!
Jeff Guylay is very modest about his photography skills, but they are awesome. And he is a wonderful, patient and supportive husband and father. Thank you for the awesome food photography you offered to the project.
Suzanne Baker Brown
Bobby Quindlen Sandoval
Tricia St. George
Charlie St. George
Stella St. George
Langford Elementary School (Austin, Texas)
Pioneer Montessori School (Ketchum, Idaho)
ECC at Community School, Sun Valley, Idaho
Kindergarten at Community School, Sun Valley, Idaho
Grade 1 at Community School, Sun Valley, Idaho
Grade 2 at Community School, Sun Valley, Idaho
Grade 3 at Community School, Sun Valley, Idaho
Grade 4 at Community School, Sun Valley, Idaho
Grade 5 at Community School, Sun Valley, Idaho
A huge thank you to the book's endorsers (those who provided "blurbs"):
Dr. Tia Rains
The following people brought this project to life by supporting it on Kickstarter. For you, we have an attitude of gratitude!
Platinum Level: Receives private consultation, thumb-drive of resources + signed copy of Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow
Jim Collins, Rob DiMeo and the Honor Finance team
Wes and Terry Guylay
Jordan and Bill Villari
Gold Level: Receives original art-work, thumb-drive of resources + signed copy of Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow
Gold Level: Receives thumb-drive of resources, Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow + Mountain Mantras (signed copies)
Silver Level: Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow +Mountain Mantras (signed copies)
Bronze Level: Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow (signed copy)
Cindy and Craig Dooley
Eva Farley/Roman Elofson
Kaylin and Sean Hagel
Tania and Carter Neild