No More Beige Food by Leanne Shirtliffe, illustrated by Tina Kugler

Source: Sky Pony Press
Hardcover, 32 pgs.
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No More Beige Food by Leanne Shirtliffe, illustrated by Tina Kugler, is another winner from Sky Pony Press.  This book is told in verse in a way that kids will find funny, but also relatable.  My daughter is not much of a picky eater now, but she has been in the past, so this book is a reminder that that pickiness could return.  Parents also will want to take note of what they say to their kids in these kinds of arguments, because as illustrated by Wilma Lee Wu and her brother, those kids may take your words literally.

Wilma is sick of bland, beige food, and when her mother says to learn how to cook, she takes her brother by the hand on an adventure around the neighborhood.  While some neighbors are close, others are a bit further from home, to which my four-year-old daughter said, “Wilma and her brother are going to get in trouble.” When I asked why, she replied, “Because they went too far away from home.”  It is unclear how far these children walked or how old they are, but the book is said to be for kids ages 3+.   I promptly explained to my daughter that this neighborhood is probably small and everyone knows one another, so the kids will just be learning from family friends.

The book is a great teaching tool for kids about the different foods that people eat and the recipes they make, which can vary widely from our own.  It also demonstrates how different foods, spices, etc. can be just as tasty as the foods we eat regularly at home.  Variety is never a bad thing in food.  The only complaint, other than the distance the kids seemed to travel, from my daughter was that the finished recipes were not illustrated every time.  She was curious to see what each one looked like.  Her favorite parts were the discussion about frog legs and mousse, and how the kids popped into the playground on the way to another house.

No More Beige Food by Leanne Shirtliffe, illustrated by Tina Kugler, will demonstrate different cultures and food to children in a friendly way, and encourage them to think outside of their own daily lives for inspiration.

About the Author:

She is a humor writer, a mom to nine-year-old twins, and the author of DON’T LICK THE MINIVAN: Things I Never Thought I’d Say As a Parent (2013). My first picture book, THE CHANGE YOUR NAME STORE, will be out in May 2014 (Sky Pony Press) and my humor gift book, MOMMYFESTO: We Solemnly Swear…Because We Have Kids, hits the shelves in November 2014. I contributed to the hilarious anthology I JUST WANT TO BE ALONE (2014).


  1. Anna (Diary of an Eccentric) says

    Sounds like a cute story!

  2. Serena, thanks for sharing your honest thoughts about this book. It sounds like you and your daughter enjoyed reading it together. 🙂 🙂

  3. bermudaonion(Kathy) says

    It sounds like your daughter really takes in a book when you read it. I love the way this one explores food and hope the kids didn’t get in trouble!

    • She is pretty observant when we’re reading, but you have to catch her in a mood where she’s ready to sit down and read. If she’s in a mode where she wants to move all the time, forget about reading!