Children's Nonfiction Flowers & Plants
Sun in My Tummy
How the food we eat gives us energy from the sun
- Pajama Press Inc.
- Initial publish date
- Feb 2023
- Flowers & Plants, Cooking & Food, General, Diet & Nutrition, Chemistry
- Publish Date
- Apr 2022
- List Price
Paperback / softback
- Publish Date
- Feb 2023
- List Price
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Where to buy it
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 8
- Grade: k to 3
The cooking of a healthy breakfast moves from parent-child bonding to an eloquent conversation about energy, the growth of plants, and the miraculous ways the sun’s light nourishes us all.
It began with the sun,
Who showers the earth
With heat and light—
Tiny packets of energy.
How does a home-cooked breakfast give a little girl the energy she needs for a brand-new day? In gently expressive language, her mother takes readers on a journey into the earth where sleepy seeds are tickled awake and grow into golden oats; into blueberry patches, where green leaves break apart water and air to build sweet sugar; and into a pasture where sun becomes grass, becomes cow, becomes milk.
Author Laura Alary’s free verse breaks big ideas into child-sized pieces, making Sun in My Tummy an accessible introduction to the concepts of matter and energy, and how the sun’s light becomes fuel for our bodies through the food we eat. Andrea Blinick’s mixed-media illustrations pair the cozy and homelike with the glowing and dramatic as she takes readers from the kitchen to the farm field and to the sky and back. A concluding Author’s Note shares further information about photosynthesis for young readers.
“This book is as essential as sunshine; the absolutely beautiful STEM story is as absorbing as photosynthesis itself.” —School Library Journal★ Starred Review
“Toronto author Laura Alary’s poetic rumination about how the sun nourishes us all offers food for thought. The sunny and bright mixed-media illustrations from Andrea Blinick are inviting.”—Quill & Quire★ Starred Review
About the authors
Laura Alary believes in writing stories that make us bigger on the inside. Born in Halifax, she earned her B.A. with Honours in classics at Dalhousie University before moving to her current home of Toronto, where she completed a Ph.D. at University of St. Michael’s College. Laura has worked as a lecturer, a library assistant, and a music specialist in Montessori classrooms, all the while writing books and raising her three children. Laura’s most recent title is What Grew in Larry’s Garden, which won the IODE Jean Throop Book Award in 2021.
Andrea Blinick is an artist and an art educator with a passion for children’s literature. After graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design with an illustration diploma, she went on to receive a Bachelor of Design through OCAD in conjunction with Thompson Rivers University and then pursued a Bachelor of Education at York University. Her first picture book, Outside, You Notice (2021), earned a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. Andrea lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters, who often inspire the storytelling behind her art. She enjoys music, writing, comedy, travel, and making a mess on her art table.
- Unknown, 2022 The Children’s Book Council “March: Hot Off the Press” feature
Praise for Sun in My Tummy
2022 CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens Starred Selection
2022 Shelf Awareness “Children’s and YA Gifts” selection
2022 The Children’s Book Council “March: Hot Off the Press” feature
2022 Picture Books, Eh “Interview with Andrea Blinick” feature
★ STARRED REVIEW “Alary carefully creates sound, rhythm, and action, while precisely placing line breaks to enhance drama and pacing…. Mixed-media artwork creates striking color variation and subtle dimension, lifting the illustrations right off the page….Blinick’s deliberate use of line moves the eye across the page in perfect accompaniment to the narrative…. This book is as essential as sunshine; the absolutely beautiful STEM story is as absorbing as photosynthesis itself.” —School Library Journal
“Perfect for reading out loud, this engaging tale could be used as an introduction to elementary science units and also to encourage young readers to find the magic in everyday things.”—Booklist
“The illustrations are brightly colored pencil-like drawings of how oats grow, how blueberries grow, and even how birds and bees help pollinate flowers. This is a great way to talk about the cycles of food and how we end up with some of the yummy dishes that become part of our family routines.” —Youth Services Book Review
“It's never too early to introduce STEM subjects to young readers, and this is a great title for a budding young scientist. I just wish it had been around when my own children were young.”—YA Books Central
★ STARRED REVIEW “Toronto author Laura Alary’s poetic rumination about how the sun nourishes us all offers food for thought. The sunny and bright mixed-media illustrations from Andrea Blinick are inviting.”—Quill & Quire
“Through Blinick’s mixed-media illustrations, she is able to conceptualize a pretty complex topic and turn it into something that is easily understood by even the youngest of readers. Overall, Sun in My Tummy is a highly informative and enjoyable read.”—CM: Canadian Review
“The sun is the true star of this charming picture book by Laura Alary and Andrea Blinick. Sun in My Tummy is a great supplement to any science lesson or a way to build gratitude and understanding in subtle ways for the role of nature in our lives.”—Canadian Children’s Book News
“A clever book to help young children understand where our food comes from and how it grows and passes energy to us: food is fuel, and sometimes that means the warm-heartedness of sunlight!”—Children’s Literature-CLCD
“This bright, inviting picture book warms the audience's tummies and hearts with its nibble-size bites of big science concepts….Sun in My Tummy will charm all…”—Shelf Awareness
“For those of us that like a fictionalized feel to our nonfiction, this book delivers. It’s accessible, fun, and informative but does not scrimp on the science (there is even a one-page Author’s Note describing the process of Photosynthesis). It could just as easily be read as a bedtime story as used as a learning tool in a classroom environment. An excellent choice for parents, caregivers, or educators. Loved this read.”—Cloud Lake Literary
“This is an excellent science book for primary grades, starting with a concept everyone will recognize and using free verse and whimsical illustrations to foster a sense of wonder about the natural world.”—A Kids Book A Day
“One of my favourite pages is when she walks down the stairs in the dark, not overly pleased about having to wake up, and in the kitchen her mom is making oatmeal and the entire kitchen is bright and sunny. Readers learn how the sun, soil and rain make the plants and blueberries grow as well as provides the grass the cow eats that gives her the milk for her oatmeal.”—Book Time
“Many lovely details on each spread will encourage further attention and discussion. The cow literally floating in her cereal bowl will elicit tiny giggles.”—Sal's Fiction Addiction
“Perfect for STEM lessons about plants and life cycles, Sun in My Tummy will brighten any classroom or library and help young children understand how the sun in their tummies, whether oatmeal or another cereal, got there.”—CanLit for LittleCanadians
“You know one of my favorite ways to get readers into nonfiction?! Sneaking it into a picture book!... Sun In My Tummy does just that… The author gives background on how the sun played a factor in growing the oats when they were still in the field… We enjoyed this one!”—@ohthebookswelove
“This book finds a way to turn science, which can be very logical and factual, to literature which is descriptive and imaginative…The illustrations are gorgeous.”—@raisingalegacybookshelf
“If you look hard enough, you’ll see the sun in everything. [Its] generosity and warmness brought that sweet girl her hot breakfast which brings her energy for her big day at school. She has the sun in her tummy.”—@raisingreaderstobecomeleaders
“This is a picture book that looks at the magic of an ordinary breakfast….Follow the magic of sunshine through familiar food to marvel at a miracle we take for granted.”—The International Educator
“This book introduces readers to the interconnectedness of the land and our food source in a way that is simple for kids to understand. The illustrations…not only help with that process, but are also cheerful and tie the book together….this book would be a welcome addition to any library.”—Sueann Hall (Instagram)
“This is sure to be a hit with curious littles and is a great introduction to harnessing energy and learning about where our food comes from. Complete with lyrical text and warm illustrations!”—Charlotte Offsay (Instagram)