It’s hard to argue that sugar isn’t delicious or addicting as it is everywhere and can influence our choices in food. Sugar can also lead to a lot of health problem if eaten in excess including tooth decay and diabetes. Have you ever stopped to consider just how much sugar you consume? In Kalea & Her Sweet Tooth, Kalea admits she loves sweets, and even her mom reminiscences to her own childhood of eating donuts with her dad after mornings spent surfing. While readers soon find out how difficult it can be to avoid sugar, if there’s one thing a child can’t resist, it’s a bet. When Kalea’s sister bets her that she can’t go an entire day without eating sugar, Kalea confidently one-ups the bet stating she can go an entire week!
Over the course of the week, Kaela encounters various creatures that represent the different types of sugars that might found in the foods we eat. The beautifully rendered artwork is visually appealing to all ages, further enhancing the educational premise of the book as Kalea and readers learn that different types of sugars are not all the same and some can negatively affect the environment. Most importantly, Kalea reminds readers that a lot of information can be learned by simply reading the labels on the foods you eat, and if there is an ingredient you are unsure about, ask somebody or do a little research.
“Oh man, not another sweetener! Isn’t fruit good for me?”
As a perfect additional teaching tool to accompany any health or science class or club, Kalea & Her Sweet Tooth can help educators, parents, and children better understand that many substances can make our food sweet and how to identify it in the stuff we eat. The book also allows for a deeper discussion regarding food safety, but as the book aims to remain unbiased and to encourage further research, there might be some confusion as to which sweeteners are better than others or any long-term effects of human consumption. If readers do find themselves in need of more information, I would urge them to reach out to the author and The Sugar Museum as they have even more resources available that might be of interest.
Written and illustrated by author Terri Hughes-Oelrich, Kalea & Her Sweet Tooth is part of the traveling Mini Mobile Museum of Sugar, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit museum and educational exhibit presented by The Sugar Museum in San Diego, California.