Most kids need some encouragement to eat a variety of food and this book puts a positive spin on eating fruit. Aimed at children from kindergarten to second grade, it shows that fruit can be grown in the home garden or purchased fresh at the supermarket. Either way, fruit is delicious and fun to prepare and enjoy with family.
After a visit to grandparents, Oliver tells Mom at breakfast and lunch about the virtues of the fruit his grandfather grows. Crunchy red apples, grape jelly made from grapes picked by Oliver, and pears are highlights of Oliver’s visit, or so it seems. Mom seizes the opportunity and takes Oliver to the grocery store where they see the large displays of fresh fruit. Oliver is not impressed but Mom buys a shopping cart full. Once the twosome is home and the fruit is put out for eating, Oliver admits that he didn’t eat fruit at Grandpa’s, just helped. Grandpa arrives and saves the day by suggesting they make fruit salad. Everyone chops up the fruit to make the salad and no one enjoys it more than Oliver, although he notes that it would be even better if the fruit had come from Grandpa’s garden.
The message is clear and not very subtle but the author presents it in an appealing manner. Mom is low key and patiently guides Oliver along while Grandpa knows how to encourage Oliver at the right moment. Oliver is a typical opinionated little boy who thinks he knows what he wants but is open to new things when given the opportunity. There is just enough orneriness in Oliver to make him believable and lovable. Whether you want to encourage a young reader to eat fruits or just enjoy an endearing story, Oliver’s Fruit Salad is a good read.