Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I Will Never NOT EVER Eat A Tomato 
By Lauren Child

Awards: Kate Greenaway Medal  (UK’s award for best illustrated children’s literature book)

I Will Never NOT EVER Eat A Tomato is a delightful and entertaining story about siblings Charlie and Lola.  Younger students will enjoy (and connect with) the character of Lola—who is an extremely fussy eater—and the comical strategies that her older brother, Charlie, uses to try to get her to eat her vegetables.

As a mentor text, this book would work as a strong example of how to use dialogue in your writing—for younger students (2nd-3rd) I Will Never NOT EVER Eat A Tomato is a great mentor to use to demonstrate how to correctly use quotation marks.

For older students (4th-6th), I Will Never NOT EVER Eat A Tomato is an excellent example of  how to create an entire story that is told nearly entirely with dialogue between the characters—with humor even!  A very challenging writer’s move, for sure!

Book Talk
Charlie is put in charge of his sister-again!  And…he has to feed her dinner!

AND..Lola is a VERY fussy eater!

A favorite line:
Lola was at the table, waiting for her dinner. And she said, “I do not eat peas or carrots or potatoes or mushrooms or spaghetti or eggs or sausages,   I do not eat cauliflower or cabbage or baked beans or bananas or oranges. And I absolutely will never, not ever eat a tomato. (My sister hates tomatoes.)

This challenges Charlie to be creative in his approaches to get Lola to eat her vegetables.

Another favorite line:
“And I said, “OH, you think these are carrots?  These are not carrots. These are orange twiglets from Jupiter.”  “They look just like carrots to me,” said Lola. “But how can they be carrots?” I said. “Carrots don’t grow on Jupiter.” “That’s true,” said Lola. “Well, I might just try one if they’re all the way from Jupiter.”

Charlie continues in this way: giving common vegetables new enticing, creative and comical names to build Lola’s curiosity and interest in eating the food.

And it works!  After every ‘renaming’ and subsequent creative story about the vegetables by Charlie, Lola agrees to give the vegetable a try and eats it!!

Until the end, when she is faced with eating a tomato!  By this point, Lola joins in renaming the vegetables!  When she renames tomatoes  ‘moonsquirters’ and declares them ‘her favorites', she happily gobbles them up!  Yeah Charlie!

Suggested Uses As a Mentor Text:
Book Genre: Realistic Fiction
Reading Workshop Strategies: Connect, Inferring, Synthesizing,
Writing Workshop Genre and Strategies: Narrative, Personal Narrative, Small Moment, Opinion Writing, Strong Lead, Strong Ending, Character Development 
Curricular Theme: Grammar (Dialogue) 

Lauren Child's website:

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