Saturday, July 5, 2014

Super Supper Throwdown by Candlewick Entertainment -- OPTIONAL

Super Supper Throwdown (Fizzy's Lunch Lab), 58 pgs. Candlewick Entertainment, 2014. $14.99. Content: G.

Professor Fizzy prides himself on making healthful meals, whereas Fast Food Freddy is all about greasy food (with a free toy, of course). When the two go neck-and-neck, whose meal will the kid tasters like better? Mixed in with the story are nutrition facts and recipes.

Honestly, I am not sure who the audience is for this book, other than perhaps adults who want to feel good about themselves for providing it to children. I spent the entire thing feeling lectured-at about food and ashamed of any time I've chosen cookies over frozen yogurt for dessert, and I can't imagine many kids willingly subjecting themselves to those same feelings. Many of the recipes called for kid-unfriendly ingredients or preparation methods, which made them almost useless, and the narrators were so relentlessly enthusiastic and wordy that I felt overwhelmed. And, finally, perhaps I simply don't have enough faith, but I have trouble believing that a green salad with lime dressing; veggie hoagie with guacamole; whole-wheat baked tortilla chips; berry and banana frozen yogurt; and water or milk would win a kids' taste test, hands-down, against the greasy burger meal (with soda and free toy!) that Fast Food Freddy served up. Maybe among adults, but not with many of the kids I know. All in all, I love the concept, but the execution left a lot to be desired.

EL, MS -- OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Caryn

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