Saturday, January 25, 2020

Vegetables and fruits

Tips for Helping Kids Try New Foods

December 21st, 2013

Preschool teachers rock! This teacher’s joy lifts my spirits every time I watch the video. While signing Rah, Rah, Radishes and Go, Go, Grapes last year in Atlanta, I met this fabulous teacher who agreed to share how she gets the 4-year olds in her class to try foods. The video is on my youtube channel. Jeff and I have also posted some of our nature clips on our Sayre Nature Youtube Channel.

Let’s Go Nuts! Seeds We Eat

August 29th, 2013

Let’s Go Nuts! Seeds We Eat is a chant which introduces children to beans, nuts, grains, and spice seeds. Endmatter explains why seeds don’t grow inside our stomachs, why seeds are such great food, and how seeds fit into biology, ecology, and culture. This book completes the trio of books that includes Rah, Rah, Radishes: A Vegetable Chant  and Go, Go, Grapes: a Fruit Chant.

Rah Rah Radishes…going beyond the plate

November 16th, 2012

My eyes are peeled for resources that connect to children’s nutrition. Here’s what’s come across my platter recently.

First, Annette Triplett from the University of Missouri extension office shared with me a coloring book and book From The Farm to You about a tomato’s journey. Interesting! I had not recently thought about extension offices and their role in agricultural education and nutrition education. Of course! They’ve been doing it for years. Great place to start for support in sharing nutrition/agriculture…your local extension office.

While at NAEYC in Atlanta I came across a booth for The have portion size plates for children. Great idea, begun by a nutritionist.

On the other end of the spectrum, articles that are important and of concern related to children’s nutrition:

Interesting article regarding “The Clean Plate Club”

First Course of Veggies May Appeal to Hungry Preschoolers


Go Go Grapes Salutes Revolutionaries!

October 22nd, 2012

Love these folks! They’ll pump you up for changing the world, whether it relates to veggies, or not!

First, here are some inspiring TED talks about vegetable garden power:

Stephen Ritz: A Teacher Growing Green in the South Bronx.

Seriously. You gotta see this guy’s talk through to the end. He’s a wild man, on a mission, empowering so many kids!

Read more »

Those Mysterious Fruit on the Tree

June 7th, 2012

I received this inquiry regarding my new book, GO, GO, GRAPES: A Fruit Chant:

Dear Ms. Sayre,
Would you kindly tell me what kind of fruit is pictured on the page that reads: “treats from trees and from the land”?
My son keeps asking me and I don’t know the answer. We think they look a bit like pears but I don’t think pears grow in threes that way. ..
 Thank you,
Julie and son, you are right. Those three are pears. I checked with the orchard owner but he’s not sure exactly what variety they are. I agree they are unusual in shape!


April 28th, 2012

Jeff and I were first introduced to this fruit on a long guided bus ride through Ecuador. The driver stopped by a fruit stand, bought some cherimoya, cut it up and offered it to all the passengers. The flesh was white, creamy, sweet, and delicious. It was somewhere between a pudding and a banana in texture. I don’t know how good cherimoyas that arrive here in the states are. But they would be worth a try.

Their closest relatives in the U.S. are our native Paw Paw fruit. Both have creamy flesh. Here’s a little info about the fruit from the cherimoya page provided by rare fruit growers of California. 

I have heard this fruit’s name pronounced both CHEER-i-moy-a   and also CHER-i-moy-a.


Vegetable Art, Trout Trees and More!

April 26th, 2012

I had the pleasure of visiting Pioneer Elementary in March. Wow, the art teacher was a burst of creativity, working on such incredible projects with the kids. Many other teachers were doing amazing work, as well. See some of it below! Click on each photo to see it in greater detail.

Read more »

Durian Fruit: The Smelly Prize

April 26th, 2012

Durian, oh prickly one. Here’s a photo of the durian that the kind folks at Saigon Market allowed me to create in the back of their store. When I created this photo, it was in a stanza that involved crates. So I did a lot of durian hefting and rearranging. Yet we changed the stanza and ended up using a much earlier photo I took when I first saw durian in their store, side-by-side with persimmons.

The durian in the photo have been kept cool, even frosty, so they don’t have the characteristic durian stink. They are heavy, bigger than footballs, and tough on the hands if you handle them without the netting.

These fruit have the same kind of reputation as limburger cheese. The fruit is so stinky that there are signs on some trains in southeast Asia banning people from carrying durian onboard! My friends Candace and George bought one. Okay, so they kept it in their cool garage for several days. They’d go out, now and then, scoop out some fruit and eat it. They said it was delicious. But the thing was too stinky to have in their kitchen. My friends Andrea and Donnie who bought durian cookies, opened the package, and the smell that wafted out was so intense that they ran and threw the package outside their door.

Candace said she’d be happy to buy a durian fruit to bring to a launch party for Go, Go, Grapes: a Fruit Chant which comes out on May 22nd. I, on the other hand, would actually like some people to stay at the party so I’m vetoing the idea. Of course, we could put it out on the porch, I suppose…

The Huckleberry Confusion

April 25th, 2012

The Huckleberry Confusion—is it a novel? No. It’s just that huckleberry is a slippery word. It refers to various berries of the Vaccinium genus. (Blueberries are also in the Vaccinium genus.) In the western U.S., folks call some wild blueberries “huckleberries.” There are cultivated huckleberries, which are a deep blue and taste a bit less sweet than regular blueberries. (Note that the sign in the picture says they are for cooking.) Some berries called “huckleberries” are red in color. Huckleberry is a common and confusing name—for sure. These may mostly be the same genus, but they are different species.

In between signings at American Library Association in 2011 I was thrilled to find huckleberries at a the Crescent City Farmer’s Market in New Orleans. Unfortunately, because of the rhyme they were in, I had to package them up to take home and combine with the other fruit in a photo for that page. Alas, with all the ALA festivities, I left those huckleberries in the hotel fridge and huckleberries aren’t available here at my market, so they did not make it into Go, Go, Grapes: a Fruit Chant. Sorry, huckleberry fans. Here’s my quick snaps of huckleberries in the New Orleans market. 

About Me
April Sayre

April Pulley Sayre is a photo-illustrator and award-winning author of over 65 books including Bloom Boom, Warbler Wave, Full of Fall, and Thank You, Earth.  Her read aloud picture books, known for their lyricism, playful voice, and scientific precision, have been translated into Korean, French, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic. Sayre’s ten photo-illustrated books include the classic Rah, Rah, Radishes and Raindrops Roll, which was both an ALA Notable and a NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book. Best in Snow received four starred reviews and was on many 2016 best book lists.  Learn more…


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