Book Review: Super Jack Eats His Broccoli
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 12:49AM
Windy City Reviews

Super Jack Eats His Broccoli. Michele Hilgart. Mascot Books: November 7, 2017, Hardcover and E-book, 38 pages.

Reviewed by Barb Belford.

Michele Hilgart sets out to help parents (and teachers) of picky eaters with Super Jack Eats His Broccoli, a picture book for toddlers, preschoolers, and early primary students. “Super” Jack Murphy is a pirate-enemy, baby-sister-saver, who is quite skeptical about eating vegetables—particularly green vegetables. When he finds out from his soccer coach that superfoods like broccoli and carrots make heroes strong and healthy, Jack decides to give them a try.

Hilgart uses simple kid-language to tell an appealing story about a little boy who doesn’t want to eat his vegetables. Parents will relate to Jack and his superhero persona. Hilgart shows sensitivity to family mealtime by showing Jack’s mom as the only adult eating with the children at the dinner table. It’s never explained whether Jack’s mom is a single mom, or whether work schedules prevent both parents eating with the children at mealtime, and the thoughtfulness that went into the author’s decision about this is appreciated.

Hilgart’s illustrations spread the important message of healthy eating. While they’re not as rich and realistic as some picture books, they will engage children’s imaginations. The speech-balloons create the opportunity for discussions about making predictions and inferences while reading. There’s plenty of white space on each page, and the font is the right size for parents who are teaching early reading skills, like one-to-one matching, and are able to point to words while reading them out loud. As an added bonus the book has a short glossary of ten superfoods, each with a large illustration and a fantastic explanation.

Michele Hilgart lives in the Chicago suburbs, and is a working mom, lifestyle coach, and blogger. Her goal is helping other moms put in place healthy fitness and nutrition habits for their families. Super Jack Eats His Broccoli assists nicely in achieving that goal.

I really enjoyed the clever way Jack became empowered to make good choices for healthy eating. I recommend this book to moms and teachers. I even know of a couple of grandchildren who will soon be reading this book—for fun and for superfood empowerment.

 

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