By: Sara Marlowe
Illustrated by: Phil Pascuzzon
Publisher: Wisdom Publications
Publication Date: June 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: June 2013
Elliot was heading to his neighbor Carmen’s house after school. As soon as he opened the door he was ready for a snack, but when she asked, “Would you like an apple,” visions of candy danced through his head. Jelly beans, chocolate, and even a lollipop would do, but no apple. It just wouldn’t do. “Sorry, I’m all out of candy,” claimed Carmen, “But try this apple. It’s very special.” Elliot looked very closely at the apple and didn’t see anything special at all. Perhaps if it was out of the ordinary it would give him superpowers, but the only way he could find out was to taste it.
The only way that Elliot was going to find out if the apple was special was to really take a close look at it. Carmen explained, “Eat the apple like you have never tasted one before. Only then will you discover what makes it so special.” It wasn’t the first time he’d ever eaten an apple, but it would be the first time he really paid attention to it. Elliot “rolled the apple around in his hands, checked out the color, listened to it, smelled it, and tasted it. Hmmm, there was something very different about the apple. Had he found something extraordinary about an ordinary apple?
This is an enchanting story about Elliot and how he discovers special things about food. This is not an ordinary book, but rather a contemplative read that imparts a lesson about food and “eating mindfully.” The emphasis is on the fact that children, as well as adults, should pay attention to the food they eat and savor its many qualities. Rather than voraciously eating food Elliot learns by discovery that the simple apple has many extraordinary qualities that make it special. The confident reader could tackle the text readily, but it would be best suited as a read and discuss book in a homeschool or classroom setting.
Quill says: If you want your children to learn about "mindful eating" and exploring the foods they eat, Elliot will show you how in No Ordinary Apple!