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The Children’s Book Review
Broccoli Rob and the Garden Singers
Written by John S. Armstrong
Designed by David Miles
Age Range: 3-6
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Heartland Publishing LLC
What to expect: Vegetables, Music, and Life Lessons
Broccoli Rob and the Garden Singers is a bright and cheery picture book that encourages kindness, teamwork, and believing in oneself. Young readers will be captivated by the story and the incredibly charming artwork.
In a colorful garden bed next to a classic red farmhouse, you can find a patch of vegetables, including Broccoli Rob. This shy piece of broccoli loves sunshine and singing. However, he does not sing out loud because he’s afraid that the other veggies will make fun of him. After days of heavy rain and zero sunshine, Broccoli Rob knows that he and the other veggies need the sun to come out so that they can grow big and strong. He suggests that they all sing to the sun but is dismissed. That is, until the wise Poppy Cornstalk encourages everyone to give singing a try. When they all work together, and Broccoli Rob is encouraged to sing out loud, the clouds part and the glorious sun shines down on them.
Author John S. Armstrong delivers this heartfelt, well-cooked little tale in a sweet tone that young readers will undoubtedly gobble up. His message that no one should be embarrassed by doing something they love is a thoughtful and impactful one. There are other takeaways too, such as: try not to doubt others and there is no harm in trying something new. After all, anything that one does to make their own sunshine is time well spent. If you’re a reader who is well-versed in children’s music and who also likes to sing, you’ll especially enjoy the inclusion of the following well-known refrain:
Mr. Sun, Sun
Mr. Golden Sun
Please shine down on me
Does a picture book that encourages a positive outlook and empowers kids to believe in themselves sound good to you? We highly recommend serving Broccoli Rob and the Garden Singers at your next storytime. There may even be the added benefit of kids taking an interest in eating some veggies. Broccoli Rob for the win!
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About the Author
John S. Armstrong lives in Downers Grove, Illinois with his wife, Allison, and daughter, Madison Leigh. He has a passion for writing children’s books to create the best picture books and the best-illustrated children’s books with the help of very talented illustrators. John’s passion aims to encourage parents to engage with their children in early reading practices. Evidence shows daily reading sessions in early childhood helps promote focus, imagination, comprehension, and concentration.
John’s works full time as an Orthopedic Physical Therapist in the Chicagoland area and he graduated from Northwestern University with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. His passion for writing children’s books began when his daughter, Madison, was an infant and he enjoyed telling ad-libbed, eccentric stories to her. He polished up his more successful stories and hence began his career as an independent author of children’s books and picture books.
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