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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
How much junk food do you eat in a day? Is there a cupboard in your kitchen devoted strictly to junk food? Mari Lou’s mother is determined to break her family’s junk food addiction. One day, she cleaned out the cupboards of all the junk food and put up warning signs to stop the family from searching for junk food to fill up on in between meals. Instead, she argued that healthy eating was better. The family tried to protest, but Mom’s good cooking soon brought them to the table and they had to admit the healthy food she served was good. But Mom had learned a lesson, too. This junk food addiction was a problem the entire family needed to address – together.
Rose St. Paul’s picture book story, The Adventures of Mari Lou: No Junk Food Zone, is a clever way to introduce young readers to the importance of eating healthily. The plot develops from the family’s discovery of Mom’s removal of all the junk food to sitting down for a family meal of healthy food choices. It’s all a learning experience, both for Mari Lou’s family and the young reader. Accompanied by colorful illustrations, this story will help young readers understand the importance of eating healthy food and not over-indulging in unhealthy snacks. It also points out the power of a family working together as a unit to solve a problem. The story is cleverly presented and is a fun read that will add a few smiles and chuckles to readers’ faces.