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Fruits & Veggies Making Faces

Author: Angela Russ-Ayon

Illustrator: Matt Mew


 Fruits and Veggies Making Faces:

A Children's Picture Book about Feelings, Emotions, and Self-Expression 

(2nd Edition)

Serve Up Some Emotion!


Young children cannot help but be amused by these dramatic characters made of parts and pieces of fruits and vegetables designed to help little ones explore feelings and emotions. Watch readers react to silly interjections, animated expressions, and quick rhymes that result from the characters' discoveries and reactions to everyday experiences. Capture a young child's interest with dramatic looks, exaggerated voices, novel encounters, and an invitation to participate. It’s a healthy recipe for self-expression, encouraging young children to interact, look for cues, explore their feelings, and mimic faces.


Foundation/Domain: Social-Emotional Development


These unique fruit and vegetable characters can be introduced in a variety of ways:

  • Explore feelings & emotions

  • Establish an emotional connection with a shared communicative experience

  • Recognize facial features

  • React to facial and verbal cuesMimic facial expressions

  • Imitate verbal responses

  • Identify fruits and vegetables

  • Name colors

  • Count parts and pieces

  • Use descriptive words

  • Explore positions in space

  • Serve food in an appetizing way


Bulk Orders: This title is available in bulk directly from the publisher for early childhood and nutrition programs, conferences, non-profit initiatives, licensing, or grants that promote healthy eating, fruits and vegetables, gardening, farm-to-table, STEM initiatives, and anti-obesity. Contact the publisher ( | Russ InVision Co.) directly for quotes, orders, and discounted pricing.

Look Inside...

Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England say that when we make eye contact with a baby, we synchronize our brainwaves to theirs. This synchronicity, in turn, promotes both learning and communication skills. Growth and development in the early years can be advanced significantly by engaging young children (birth through preschool) in creative physical and verbally playful interactions. It’s important to stimulate their senses every day. While modeling behavior, be sure to ask questions that motivate them to observe, examine, and reason.

Repeatedly looking at picture books about fruits and vegetables with parents enhances young children's visual preferences toward the foods in the book and influences their willingness to taste these foods (Houston-Price et al., 2009b).



Introduce these unique fruit and vegetable characters in a variety of ways:


  • Furthers socio-emotional development: self-expression, understanding displays of emotions, empathy, mimicking facial expressions, and interaction with the reader.

  • Exposure to a variety of fruits, vegetables, and their connection to a rainbow of colors.

  • Encourages the creative presentation of food for dining.

  • Provides an opportunity to explore positions in space: over, under, on top of, below, etc.

  • Promotes the use of descriptive STEM language: wider, longer, taller, smaller, thinner, etc.

  • Supports experimentation with age-appropriate kitchen tools: peeler, knife, zester, magnifying glass, hand juicer, ruler, etc. - Angela Russ-Ayon -IMG_

$12.99 Paperback

ISBN: 9781958627808

$7.99 eBook / Kindle

ISBN: 9781958627815

Format: Picture book

8" x 10" Portrait

Age: 3 up

30-Pages  (large print)

Also available:

A puzzle to make your own face, face puppets, and coloring Pages

Parents were asked to read a picture book to their 21- to 24-month-old children every day for a fortnight.  Children tasted significantly more of the foods that were familiar to them. (Cashdan, 1994; Raudenbush and Frank, 1999; Cooke et al., 2003).

Research at the University of Reading has found that increasing a food’s visual familiarity before it is offered at mealtimes can increase children’s willingness to taste the food, and their liking and intake of the food when they do taste it. 


One recent study (Owen et al., 2018) showed that children’s intake and liking of vegetables was significantly greater if they had looked at a book about the vegetable before parents introduced the food at home, with effects lasting for at least several months.  Parents also reported that introducing new or disliked vegetables was easier and more enjoyable for them if their child had seen a book about the food beforehand.

Related terms & phrases: 


Socio-emotional learning, social-emotional foundation, feelings, emotions, self-expression, child nutrition, CACFP, National CACFP, My Plate,, eating healthy food, tasting new foods, eating fruits and vegetables, preparing foods in different ways, STEM connections, making healthy choices, nutrition month (March)​, nutritious food, balanced diet, variety of foods, healthy eating, food pyramid, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Health and Human Services, SNAP-ED Program, nutrition education, Spanish nutrition material, Spanish picture books about nutrition, material de educación nutricional en español.


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