Create a Healthier World with Books (Article in Publishers Weekly)

I was so tickled when someone recently referred to me as “the picky eater whisperer”.

I love sharing ideas with parents about how they can encourage healthy eating patterns with their kids using the formula of “inspire- educate- give choice”.

Read on to see some coverage my first children’s picture book (Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow) received in Publishers weekly and watch my presentation at Book Expo of America

BEA 2016: Big Books from Small Presses Create a Buzz

You can access the article online, as a PDF, or below.  Enjoy!

While the five books – and in some cases, the authors or illustrators as well – presented at the BEA Selects: Children’s panel session on May 12 were from small presses, they all made a big impression on the audience. The 30-minute session, held at the Uptown Stage, was moderated by Jennifer Swinhart Voegele, the v-p and marketing director for Consortium Books & Distribution.

The first presenter, for NorthSouth Books, was Daniel Miyares, the illustrator of Surf’s Up (Feb.), a picture book written by 2015 Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander.

The publisher’s catalog copy describes Surf’s Up as the story of “Bro and Dude, [who] have very different ideas about how to spend the day at the beach. But as Bro continues to gasp and cheer as he reads his book [Moby Dick], Dude can’t help but get curious. Before you can shout ‘Surf’s up!’ both frogs are sharing the same adventure, that is, until they get to the beach.”

“I didn’t even know who Kwame Alexander was,” Miyares recalled. “It’s a book about the joy of reading and what reading can do for you. Every time I read it, I get something more out of it.” Describing the tension in the book as balancing the love of reading with going out to play outside, Miyares said, “The real story is that you have to be the captain of your industry.”

Next up was Kathryn Kemp Guylay, with her picture book on nutrition and healthy eating, Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow (Healthy Solutions of Sun Valley, July). It was illustrated by Guylay’s son, Alexander, age 12.

Explaining that she was a licensed nutritionist who heads up a nonprofit called Nurture, Guylay noted that one in three children born in 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes, due to poor eating habits that can be nipped in the bud by successfully persuading children to include more vegetables in their diets.

“I know what works,” she said, “It’s all about keeping it positive, keeping it fun, and keeping children engaged.”

According to the catalog copy, Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow’s “main character [Blake] starts out surrounded by junk food and feeling ‘down,’ depicted by greys and muted tones. Once Blake discovers the ‘magic’ of colorful fruits and vegetables through a journey that involves shrinking Blake down to a tiny size, colors become brighter as Blake gets closer and closer to the pot of gold (a metaphor for energy and good health)”.

Guylay noted that Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow has been tested with teachers, who have reported positive changes in their students’ eating habits and behaviors afterward. “Think The Wizard of Oz meets Honey, I Shrunk the Kids meets nutrition/health literature,” she said.

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