Tiana Eat Up!

Tiana eat up written by Akitoye Sunday is a story about a little girl who likes food, she is presented with food which is unfamiliar and she doesn’t want to try it.

Ahaziah likes to retell the story, he said there is a girl called Tiana and every time she goes to her grandma’s she gets one of her favourite dishes such as ‘do do’ with seasoned omelette. One day she went to her grandmas house, she ran into the kitchen to see what her grandma was making, and on the table there was food that she has never seen before. When her grandma gave it to her she pushed it away. She went into the garden to play and her belly started to grumble. She went to her room to play with her doll and her belly grumbled. She went to help her brother build his fortress and her belly grumbled. Her grandma asked whats wrong and she explained that she was hungry. Her grandma encouraged her to try the food, she tried the Eba and her grandma told her she needed to dip it into the soup. She dipped it into the soup and she enjoyed it. When her mum picked her up she wondered what food she would get to try next.

Micaiah enjoyed this story, he said Tiana went to her Grandmas house and she didn’t want to try the soup, she didn’t know it was going to taste nice. Tiana pushed the food away from her and hoped that one of her favourite foods would appear. Micaiah said one time he was at the circus he didn’t want the popcorn but then he tried it and he liked it. I asked him what Jamaican foods does he like and he said cornmeal porridge. I asked him what Ethiopian food does he like and he said injera. Micaiah said the illustrations are interesting. Micaiah said that he likes that she goes to grandmas house because him and his brother go to grandmas house.

Ahaziah listened well and looked closely at the pictures in this story, his favourite part was when she helped her brother build the fortress. Ahaziah noticed that on every page there was a illustration of the main character. I asked him what the moral of this story is and he said you should always try food cause you might like it. He said yesterday he tried some chicken that he thought was going to be spicy but it wasn’t and he really enjoyed it.

I enjoyed reading this story to the boys because sometimes they can be fussy eaters especially with trying food from not only their culture but food from other cultures when we travel. I try to introduce them to different flavours all the time so they are not so restricted to eating safe options like pasta, pizza, chips and rice. I will definitely be referencing this story next time I want them to try something new, I will say remember Tiana tried it and she liked it because it is also OK for a child to not like a particular food, as long as they have tried it. We rate this book 5 out of 5. It is written beautifully, has a small glossary at the end and the illustrations are bright and colourful. This book is great to spark conversation between children sharing their fears of tasting/ trying new foods.

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