Scarlette Beane (Karen Wallace)

Scarlette Beane is all about the vegetables.

Born to parents who love to garden, Scarlette has a face "red as a beet, and the ends of her fingers were green." She is constantly surrounded by carrots, parsley, tomatoes, beets, turnips, cucumbers, and onions. Even her baby mobile has veggies dangling from it!

Her mother tells her constantly that she will do something wonderful with her life. Sure enough, one day Scarlette wakes up and her garden has produced vegetables that are enormous enough to feed her whole town. She continues to grow giant veggies until she builds her parents a castle made of vegetables ("with turnip turrets, a drawbridge held by corncobs, and a cucumber tower on each corner") and her mother tells her that she knew all along that Scarlette was going to do something wonderful.

In this fast food nation we inhabit, it certainly is awesome to see a book about vegetables. When I watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution a few months ago, I was shocked that most children in that particular school district could not identify even the most basic vegetables. Scarlette Beane really does put a magical, positive spin on the world of vegetables. When I was reading this with my own child, her first comment after we closed the book was to ask for a cucumber...so there you have it!