Author: Delin Colón
Illustrator: Delin Colón
Genre: Children’s / Activities, Crafts & Games / Activity Books
Price: $6.95 (Paperback)
Available at: Amazon.com
It is no secret getting a headstrong child to eat vegetables can be quite trying for parents. But, what happens when you have a child who refuses to eat anything?
Zeke Will Not Eat! is a rhyming story about a boy named Zeke, who flat out refuses to eat. He views eating as a chore and an outright bore, that interrupts his playtime. Zeke does not understand that eating can be fun, but more importantly, it is necessary for his body to stay active and healthy. Zeke’s dad decides to use a dash of imagination in the hopes of getting his son to view food and eating with a new set of eyes: broccoli stalks are now trees, carrots become logs and Zeke is the boss over the land, also known as — his dinner plate.
Delin Colón opens the book, Zeke Will Not Eat!, with sound advice for parents about the various reasons why children refuse to eat their food. For a new parent, this advice can be informative and comforting, too. Their child may not be sick, only stubborn or manipulative when it comes to eating. Zeke’s story is easy to read and understand. Ms. Colón’s imaginative idea on how the Dad encourages Zeke to eat is not only clever, but is a great way for parents to get creative with the food on their child’s plate. Perhaps one should consider allowing their child to “play with their food”. Children build sandcastles on the beach. Why not allow a child to build a fort out of cooked string beans at dinnertime?
The illustrations in Zeke Will Not Eat! are very unique. Ms. Colón uses cut-paper art, a technique she learned from Susie Shahn, daughter of artist, Ben Shahn. Ms. Colón cut random shapes out of construction paper, arranged the shapes in order to make an image to match the storyline and then photographed the image. She used the same shapes and technique for each page. It is amazing to see how each illustration is so different, yet, they use the exact same shapes as the other featured drawings in the book. At the end of the book, instructions are provided so parents can enjoy doing this creative art activity with their children.
The next time your child refuses to eat, do not stress. Try and make eating time fun. Forgo smashing train tracks in a child’s cold, stiff mashed potatoes with a fork. Instead, you and your child can create a herd of broccoli and cauliflower sheep. All you need is: broccoli and cauliflower florets, pear stems for the legs, purple grapes for the heads and black eye peas for the sheep eyes. Then slowly devour the herd as it is “returned” to the corral.
Zeke Will Not Eat! is certain to have readers coming back for second helpings.
Delin Colón is a writer, illustrator and freelance editor with a background in clinical psychology. She is also the author of Katy Rose Likes To Say NO! and two non-fiction books: Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History and her translation of her great-great uncle’s memoir, Rasputin: The Memoirs of His Secretary.