Tuesday, June 5

Vegetable Glue

I cannot really speak for meal times and fussy eaters, as our path with weaning and consequently feeding has strayed from the norm and into an area regulated and plotted by medical professionals. However, I do remember growing up with my sister who was a supremely fussy eater (she accused me of being a traitor when she saw me eating broccoli. She was at least 14 at the time...) and I suspect that my little baby is fast becoming a contrary toddler so I thought I had better brush up on some literature to arm myself with knowledge for the next stage of development. One book I discovered whilst working at Seven Stories, the centre for Children's Books and remembered fondly ever since was Vegetable Glue by Susan Chandler and illustrated by Elena Odriozola. It always raised a giggle from children and story times and an understanding eye roll from many parents around the room.

Vegetable Glue is a cautionary tale from a little girl who only eats cake. The problem with this is that vegetable glue keeps all your body parts stuck on* and makes sure they do not fall off. Should your head accidentally take a tumble, you would need to flag down a wise granny (or possibly greengrocer) and beg for some magical glue to repair the damage.What's that; you've never seen someones arm spontaneously fall off in the playground? Ahhh, well they must have all eaten up their greens then to keep their arms and legs stuck firmly to their bodies. You don't need to guzzle down your body weight in peas and carrots to create vegetable glue, a few bits from your plate will suffice (if you are unsure, ask your mum or dad. They generally seem quite knowledgeable in the vegetable consumption arena). And I don't know about you, but if I knew my head was likely to fall off in the middle of going down the slide then I think I would stay indoors too. Terribly embarrassing, this body falling apart business.

"You can see for yourself,
That something's not right,
People don't fall apart.
It's just not polite.

I have to keep with me,
A big tub of glue,
To stick bits back on,
To make good as new."

So how then, do we avoid this? Luckily, the answer is here and written beautifully in rhyme. The text is large for new or budding readers (or tired parents) and accompanied by gorgeous watercolour illustrations on every page.

"It's not in the shops and it's not on the telly, beacuse vegetable glue is in everyone's belly!

But I was quite silly and made a mistake.

I wouldn't eat cabbage, or turnips or beans; I didn't like carrots, I didn't like greens.
I didn't eat sprouts and now I've no special glue. No goodness inside me, like other kids do.

While others are playing, I can't even cough. If I sneeze or I burp then something falls off."

By this point, I was already sold on the book when I first read it. It's marvellously silly as well as being full of subliminal common sense, but just in case your child might not be convinced, there is an almost obligatory rude picture for all the back row to collapse in giggles....

Although she is too young to sit through the whole story or understand fully the content, Wriggles is more than happy to flick through the pictures and was amused by the rhyming text. It also lends itself to silly noises and learning body parts if you feel like being very involved and interactive.

I don't know about you, but I will be having mainly vegetables for tea tonight. With a side helping of more vegetables. You can't be too careful....

*not scientifically proven but backed up by 99% of desperate parents especially at dinner times


  1. This book sounds fab! I know a lot of books from my time in school and nursery but I haven't come across this one! I will buy it! Bob is a bit young for it at the moment but I am not! ;0) x

  2. i love the book and i know that my small sister will be happy when i will buy one for her. thanks for sharing the book.