________________ CM . . . . Volume 21 Number 20 . . . . January 30, 2015


Everyone Eats.

Julia Kuo.
Vancouver, BC: Simply Read Books, 2012.
16 pp., board, $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-897476-74-1.

Subject heading:
Nutrition-Pictorial works-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool / Ages 1-4.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

*** /4


Deer eat

Fish eat


Some parents have few, if any, problems in getting their children to try new foods and tastes as the children transition from mushy baby foods to more “adult” solid foods. Unfortunately, other parents are not so lucky, and their food introductions can be met by tightly closed-mouthed responses, spit-ups, tantrums, and the contents of dishes being dumped on the floor. It is this latter group of parents (and their youngsters) that Kuo addresses in Everyone Eats.

     Via 10 pairs of facing pages, Kuo introduces 10 animals and, with each one, a food that the animal could/would eat in the wild (though, in a few cases, the “wild” would likely require the animal to have to raid a garden). Design-wise, one page carries a full-page, colour illustration rendered in a cartoonish style while the other page has the three word text. Also found on the text page is an illustration of how the child might meet the animal’s raw food in a dish prepared for her/him. Consequently, the pigs’ mushrooms adorn a plate of spaghetti and are also found in a can of soup while the horses’ apples appear as apple slices and as an apple juice box. Care is taken with the “Squirrels eat nuts” page to show a jar of “Almond Butter” (not peanuts). The single text words that name the food are rendered in a colour appropriate to the food, i.e., green lettuce, yellow honey (though I’m hard-pressed to think of a pink seed, especially one eaten by mice). The closing eleventh pair of facing pages finds a smiling girl sitting at a table while acknowledging that “I eat [all these foods] too."

     With perhaps the exception of seaweed, the other nine foods are likely something that “everyone eats” at some point during a year, if perhaps only seasonally. Whether the contents of Everyone Eats will transform a picky child’s eating habits remains to be seen, but giving “Let’s be a duck and [quack, quack] eat our corn” or “Let’s be a pig and [oink, oink] eat our mushrooms” a try can’t be any worse than some of the things we presently utilize while introducing new food tastes and textures.


Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives and eats in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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