Publication: September 2003 from Candlewick Press
Lola is a fussy eater. A very fussy eater. She won’t eat her carrots (until her brother Charlie reveals that they’re orange twiglets from Jupiter). She won’t eat her mashed potatoes (until Charlie explains that they’re cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji). There are many things Lola won’t eat, including – and especially – tomatoes. Or will she? Two endearing siblings star in a witty story about the triumph of imagination over proclivity.
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child belongs to the Seeking Meaning During Reading section of the Touchstone books. This section contains books that can be used to engage students in making connections. This helps in encouraging children to really think about what it is they are reading, by asking questions, re-reading, and talking about specific sections. All of this will aid in the student’s comprehension of the text.
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato is a very cute book, about an older sister who gets her younger picky-eater sister to eat various foods by telling her they are things like cloud fluff, mermaid food and twiglets from Jupiter. It is cute at the end of the story how the younger sister, Lola, turns the tables on her older sister, Charlie, by requesting to eat a tomato and calling it a moonsquirter – Charlie didn’t think they were actually tomatoes, did she? The story is good for Seeking Meaning due to all of the changes to the food made throughout the book. Students should be encouraged to stop and discuss the changes made – how are peas like green drops from Greenland? Have students clarify that the carrots are still carrots, even though Charlie gives them a different name. Question why Lola agrees to eat the food – doesn’t she realize the mashed potatoes are still potatoes, not cloud fluff? Talk about imagination and belief with the students in order to understand why Charlie and Lola give the food different names.
Time: 1 hour
Read the story out loud to students in a group setting. As I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato is part of the Seeking Meaning section, use frequent stops to question the students about what they are hearing. Double check that students understand that the food Lola and Charlie are eating has not actually changed – the sisters are using their imaginations to make the food more interesting to eat.
– Why did Charlie tell Lola the food is different?
– Are there any foods you don’t like to eat?
– How does Lola’s imagination let her eat the food after Charlie changes the name?
Using chart paper, ask each student for one food that they will never eat. After the list is complete, add your own food to it. Using your own as an example, ask the students to brainstorm what they could imagine that food to be that would make it interesting and good to eat.
After the brainstorming session is complete, instruct students that they are to do the same thing with the food they listed previously on the chart paper. After explaining the instructions, hand out a worksheet. Allow them to consult with the students sitting around them for brainstorming ideas, but make sure they are doing their own work. Students will draw a picture of what their food looks like, and then write a paragraph explaining what it ‘really’ is.
Please e-mail me if you would like the worksheet to this, or any, of the lessons.