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Vegetarians in Paradise

Vegetarian Books

Each issue the VIP birds endeavor to soar to the highest literary peak to peck out the most unique, informative, and accomplished book or books that contribute to vegetarian enlightenment.

This month we review three children's picture books that focus on vegetarianism.

Click Below for these reviews:


By Karisa Lowe
Illustrated by Edmund Boey

Early Press, 2013
Hardcover, $15.95

Arlo Goes to the Farmers Market Arlo may look like an elephant with large floppy ears and a long nose that resembles a trunk, but he thinks like an intelligent boy who's open to all kinds of adventures. Arlo Goes to the Farmers Market takes young readers on an adventure where they learn about food and how a variety of color in the diet can promote health.

Of course, his mother is a wise woman who encourages him to search for and eat a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables. Arlo's mother's influence is evident when Arlo tells one of the farmers that his mother told him "about eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day so he could be healthy and strong."

In Arlo Goes to the Farmers Market Karisa Lowe conveys a simple message that may encourage children's interest in eating fruits and vegetables. Using elephants to tell the story adds a unique dimension to the story, especially when those whimsical elephants are drawn by Edmund Boey. In an era where health professionals stress eating fruit and vegetables, this volume directed at young children becomes a motivator for healthier eating. Parents may want to do a follow up to this book by an actual visit to a farmers' market.

V Is for Vegan:
the ABCs of Being Kind

Written and Illustrated by Ruby Roth

North Atlantic Books, 2013
Hardcover, $12.95

V Is for Vegan Ruby Roth teaches compassion to an audience that's not too young to hear the message. She even dares to use the "V Word" in the title of her latest work. In V Is for Vegan: the ABCs of Being Kind, Roth follows up her successful books directed at pre-schoolers, That's Why We Don't Eat Animals and Vegan Is Love.

In V Is for Vegan, Roth uses amusing childlike drawing, lettering, and simple rhymes to transport her young audience on a journey through the alphabet to explain that animals are our friends and not to be used for food or clothing. She begins the journey with "Aa is for animal-friends, not food. We don't eat our friends, they'd find it quite rude." She concludes the alphabet with "Zz is for zero, no animals harmed. Hooray for the day when they're no longer farmed!"

The book ends with the message: "We've come to the end, but it's just the start! There are many more ways to have heart--do your part."

Roth does an exemplary job in showing what a vegan eats and does not eat. She also touches on health and environmental issues on a level young children will understand, but the essential message is to show kindness to all living creatures.

Her message on the letter Yy page Is simple, yet profound: "Yy is for you, because your choices matter." Parents raising vegan children will find V Is for Vegan an ideal book to read with their youngsters to share an understanding of vegan values and the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Adding to the visual appeal of the book is Roth's choice of a hand-letter style for the text. A child taking the first steps in writing can successfully emulate Roth's childlike printing of each letter of the alphabet. This book, along with Roth's other works, belongs in every home with young vegan children.

Linus The Vegetarian T. Rex

Written and Illustrated by Robert Neubecker

Beach Lane Books, 2013
Hardcover, $16.99

Linus The Vegetarian T. Rex Ruth Ann MacKenzie, a young member of the Museum of Natural History, loves to hang out with her friends--the Dinosaurs. Her surprise comes when she visits the museum's new exhibit Cretaceous Surprises.

There she meets a giant Tyrannosaurus rex named Linus who assures her that she won't be his lunch because he is a vegetarian. He does take her on a friendly journey of discovery to show her what he eats--just plants and lots of them. On their journey they encounter other dinosaurs, but he doesn't eat them, even though he's a predator.

Linus does prove his fierceness by opening his mouth wide and emitting a series of very loud roars to scare off two velociraptors menacing both of them. Ruth Ann exclaims, "You're my hero, Linus!"

"I'm just me-a very big, very brave, very VEGETARIAN Tyrannosaurus rex!" he tells her. The two new friends part when she steps through the curtain and back into the museum.

Linus The Vegetarian T. Rex tells pre-school children that large creatures can thrive on a plant-food diet. Ruth Ann is quite content to share Linus' lifestyle. Author/artist Neubecker's cartoon-like colored India-ink drawings to depict Linus and Ruth Ann will surely evoke smiles from readers. Young children find dinosaurs very intriguing and will be entranced by this story that has a dinosaur as one of its principal characters. Besides, some dinosaurs actually were vegetarians.

Click here for past book reviews

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