Sylvia Spivens hates spinach. Bleh! But what will a picky eater do when her teacher hands her spinach seeds to plant in the school garden? Will it be joy—or agony? Join Sylvia as she discovers the magic of growing food from the ground up and what happens when you give something new a try.
Katherine Pryor loves eating spinach sautéed, stir-fried, steamed, or straight from the garden. In addition to writing, Katherine manages a program to bring local and healthy food to Washington State hospitals. She is co-founder of South Park Fresh Starts, which grows vegetable starts for a food bank in Seattle. This is her first children’s book. Learn more about Katherine at Katherinepryor.com.
Anna Raff loves spinach, sweet potatoes, and bananas, but steers clear of liver and sea urchins. Her illustrations have appeared in publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, KIWI Magazine, and American Illustration. She lives in New York City. Learn more about Anna at Annaraff.com.
Click to see how Anna developed Sylvia’s Character
“A young spinach hater becomes a spinach lover after she has to grow her own in a class garden… Raff uses unlined brushwork to give her simple cartoon illustrations a pleasantly freehand, airy look… [Pryor] covers gardening basics in a simple and encouraging way.”
“When Sylvia winds up with spinach seeds to plant for her class’s garden, she’s not pleased: she hates the green stuff… Once her spinach finally grows…Sylvia develops a sense of ownership over her spinach and, eventually, a taste for it: ‘I tried it, Mom!’ Sylvia said. ‘It’s good!” Pryor’s lesson about healthy eating and trying new things is delivered with a light touch thanks to Raff’s airy ink washes.”
“Sylvia’s Spinach reminded me that there’s a special, secret ingredient in healthy eating—having fun! With great warmth and humor, this book captures the infectious joy of planting one’s first seed.”
—Ian Cheney, director of Truck Farm and co-founder of FoodCorps
“Understanding food production is pivotal in a child’s development of food habits. The more familiar and accessible this information, the easier it becomes for a kid to eat healthy. This groundwork propels movement and change. Sylvia’s Spinach accomplishes this conversation in an approachable, kid-friendly way — from start to finish. A once resistant Sylvia learns the value of growing a garden, and through this hard work an appreciation for vegetables. Exposure is half the battle.”
—Ann Cooper, “Renegade Lunch Lady,” Nutrition Services Director, Boulder Valley (CO) School District; Author, Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children