Review Blog

Dec 06 2017

Hugo makes a change by Scott Emmons

cover image

Ill. by Mauro Gatti. Flying Eye Books, 2017. ISBN 9781911171218
(Age: 3-5) Themes: Diet and Nutrition, Vampires. Hugo the vampire is a carnivore, he's 'crazy for red, juicy meat!' After dark, he prowls through town looking for a meal. He' a hungry young creature with only one thing on his mind, gobbling up 'hot dogs, a roast and a ham, a T-bone or two and a big leg of lamb.' Hugo Makes a Change is an entertaining rhyming story all about nutrition and eating a balanced diet. Emmons and Gatti have created a lively tale with bright, bold digital images.
Hugo discovers his meat only diet leaves him bloated, slow, and lacking any energy. He comes to the realisation that he needs to change his food choices. Instead of visiting steakhouses and diners, he drops into a vegetable garden where he sees new foods with wrinkly leaves, red lumpy blobs and long green mystery objects. Hanging upside down on an apple tree he tastes a small juicy fruit and discovers a new taste sensation. One big white fang pierces the skin and Hugo's life changes. Back to the vegetable garden he walks, sharing a delicious picnic with his friendly black cat. His kitchen bench is filled with a variety of fresh produce and he plans delicious meals using meat, fruit and vegetables. Hugo's energy levels rise as he enjoys raisins on a moonlight ride and has healthy snacks watching television.
Emmons' simple poetry is engaging and this story provides teachable moments and opportunities for discussion about healthy food choices. Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy the graphic pictures, vibrant backgrounds and identifying the foods mentioned in the rhymes.
Rhyllis Bignell

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