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I Spy Vegetables
BOOK - I Spy Vegetables ENGLISH (Cover and Back) 10-29-23.jpg - Angela Russ-Ayon -IMG_

Author: Angela Russ-Ayon

Illustration: Still color photography


I Spy Vegetables: a Seek and Find Experience in Early Science and Math (Children's Picture Book)

Colorful photographs help young children identify a variety of vegetables while being introduced to basic science and math concepts. On each page, there is a different option to consider and discuss. Children who spy clean vegetables will also spy dirty vegetables. Those who spy peas in pods will also spy peas out of pods. By comparing and contrasting the vegetables in the book and in their world, children can better understand the characteristics, similarities, differences, and relationships between them.


Compare and contrast is a strategy that can be used to introduce basic concepts such as size, shape, color, texture, and positions in space. This type of thinking helps young children develop analytical, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. In addition, it can enhance the language skills used to describe what they’re observing. 

Find creative ways to connect this concept book to a theme, curriculum, activity, experiment, and any other aspect of a child’s life. It's as simple as washing dirty vegetables, observing a vegetable as it decays, measuring carrots, or using a kitchen or gardening tool (colander, peeler, knife, or shredder).


Life Science

Physical Science

Early Math


Available in English and Spanish

Bulk Orders: This title is available in bulk 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.

Related terms & phrases: 


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, nutrition material, Spanish picture books about nutrition, material de educación nutricional en español.

Preschool picture book about eating healthy food, picture book about tasting new foods, picture book about eating fruits and vegetables, picturebook about preparing foods in different ways, picturebook with STEM kitchen tools, making healthy choices, nutrition month (March), nutritious food, balanced diet, picturebook about a variety of foods, healthy eating, food pyramid.

Each time you read the book, make new discoveries together beyond what is stated on each page.

What do you notice? 

How do the vegetables differ?

How are they the same?

Where do the vegetables come from


There are no wrong answers, but there are plenty of opportunities to dig deeper and explore further.


I Spy Vegetables is an effective way to excite young children about healthy eating. More fun can be had when they interpret some of the terms using their bodies in motion: stretching long and tall, shrinking down short, spreading out wide, standing close to an object, or moving farther away.


It is also a great addition to any fruit & vegetable, gardening, harvest, nutrition, food group, or life science theme for parents of young children or preschool and early childhood educators.


Included in this picture book are facts about vegetables, a brief reader’s guide, and suggestions for open-ended inquiry.

** An excellent addition to any fruit, gardening, harvest, nutrition, food group, or life science theme for parents of young children or preschool and early childhood educators.

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).



  • Benefits:

  • Exposure to various vegetables and their connection to a rainbow of colors.

  • Compare and contrast sizes, shapes, colors, and textures.

  • Explore positions in space: over, under, on top of, below, etc.

  • Recognize and count parts and pieces.

  • Explore opposites: in/out, short/long, smooth/lumpy, top/bottom, light/heavy, etc.

  • Introduce related terms: roots, pods, sprouts, husks, seeds, shred, chop, center, half, whole, etc.

  • Conduct taste tests.

  • Encourage conversation and deeper exploration with open inquiry.

  • Introduce the sciences and early math.

Use open-ended inquiry to nurture a child’s innate curiosity while navigating through the pages.

Included in this picture book are facts about fruit, a reader’s guide, and suggestions for open-ended inquiry.

$12.99 Paperback


ISPYV-E Paperback


ISBN: 978-1-958627-01-3

Expanded Edition 36-Pages

Format: Color Picture Book

8.5" x 8.5"

Age: 3 and up

Print our shopping list children  paste on, stick on, scribble on, or write on.

                                 - or -

Print our shopping list filled with colorful images of fruits and veggies that little ones can circle.

Ideas for simple STEM connections and extensions.

Vegetables can be tricky to define. Scientists who study plants (botanists) identify vegetables according to the edible part of the plant they come from, such as the leaves (lettuce), stems (celery), roots (carrots), flowers (broccoli), and tubers (potatoes). Under the botanical definition, edible plants with seeds, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, pumpkins, and even corn, are in fact fruits. But in the culinary world, and the average home, quite a few savory fruits with seeds are categorized as vegetables. If it’s usually cooked, not sweet, and eaten as a main course, then it’s a vegetable. This book corresponds with the common culinary distinctions between fruits and vegetables, but also looks at the parts of the plants from which they come.

Also available in Spanish/English:

Espio con Mis Ojitos Vegetales,

una Experiencia Temprana de STEM

ISBN-13: 978-1-958627-02-0

BOOK - I Spy Vegetables SPANISH (Cover and Back) 10-29-23_edited.jpg
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