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Review of:

The Monster Health Book: A Guide to Eating Healthy, Being Active & Feeling Great for Monsters & Kids!

Image courtesy of:
Written & illustrated by Edward Miller; Published by Holiday House, Inc.
Producer:Written & illustrated by Edward Miller; Published by Holiday House, Inc.
Date Produced:Spring 2006
  • Hardcover and paperback editions of book
  • Elementary School (6-8 yrs)
  • Middle School (9-12 yrs)
  • General Nutrition
  • Weight Management
  • Physical Activity
  • Meal Planning
  • Healthy Eating Tips
  • Grains/Whole Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Dairy
  • Protein
  • Vitamins and Minerals
  • Food pyramid, importance of sleep, saying no to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes.
Description:Filled with sensible advice, this book will arm youngsters with the knowledge they need to work toward healthy lifestyles.
Cost:Hardcover: $17.95; Paperback: $6.95
Ordering Info:Available directly through Holiday House, Inc., or through wholesalers such as Ingram and Baker & Taylor.


A. Use of MyPlate/MyPlate or the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Material incorporates and uses some concepts in MyPlate or the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

If the book is to highlight or be connected to MyPyramid, it is not organized in the same order as the MyPyramid.
B. Scope
Scope of information is a mix of appropriate and less than appropriate concepts.

I am not sure what the target age group is. The layout and pictures would be good for middle elementary, but the words and concepts are more for upper elementary (5th grade) to middle school. The picture concept however wouldn't be accepted well by 7th or 8th graders.
C. Purpose
Purpose of material clearly stated in title or introduction.

I think the purpose was clear. A little confusing in focusing on the "monster." Maybe if the monster had a name it would flow better. Like Monster Mike .. this is where the concept is more for the younger child but the words are for older.
D. Organization
Material well-organized and major points presented clearly.

Material is well organized, again not in conjunction with MyPyramid. It covered many topics outside food choice that included breakfast, allergies, eating disorders, self-esteem related to food, fast food, lunch etc. These are the older child concepts. Was colorful, and presented in a fun way. The little boxes of info was fun and allowed you to pick and choose what you wanted to read and not just look at the pictures. They connected the pictures to the words.
E. Accuracy
Information contains minor inaccuracies.

The inaccuracies that I found were more like putting the peas in the meat and bean group, pumpkin in the fruit group (is the fruit of the vine, but still considered a vegetable), suggests whole wheat bread, but nothing about whole grains versus non-whole grains, sorghum--a very common grain or used more as a sweetener? "Milk products come from cow's milk" What about goats milk into cheese, milk etc? On the "Nutrients in food" page there is no mention of Calcium or Vitamin D for strong bones.

On the section about Lunchtime, there are no pictures or ideas for 'kids' lunches.

In Diabetes discussion says that kids who have diabetes take insulin. That is not always the case. Allergies section says allergies last forever .. not always true. Eating disorders focuses on anorexia and no discussion about bulimia or over eating disorder and being obese.

F. Learner Background
Material does not assume that reader has background information.
G. Learning Objectives
Not applicable.
H. Learning Activities, Projects, or Interactive Learning Tools
Not applicable.
I. Objectivity/Sponsor Bias
Subject matter presented objectively and fairly. No brand name promotion or obvious sponsor bias.
J. Inclusion of learning objectives, learner activities, instructional aids, lesson plans, evaluation component, identification of required instructional materials, web site with additional materials.
Not applicable.
K. Recipes (if included)
No recipes are included.
L. Recipes (if included)
No recipes are included.
M. Instructional Resources
Instructor resources not needed for this material.

A nice set of websites on the last page that relate to the major sections of the book.
N. Credits, References and Resources (Including dates, publisher, etc.)
Current and complete credits, references, and resources listed.
O. Summary
No summary or review is included.

A. Role Models
Not applicable.
B. Multi-cultural Representation
Material does not include any outright negative stereotypes concerning racial, religious, or ethnic groups.
C. Different lifestyles and food patterns
Not applicable.

Print Materials
A. Writing Style
Main ideas are clear, but sequence of information may not flow smoothly in all sections.

Could follow the MyPyramid order a little better. Otherwise great.
B. Writing Approach
Writing approach is positive and personal. Active voice is used most of the time.
C. Vocabulary
Vocabulary used is appropriate for intended audience. Minimizes use of technical terms and if used, are defined.
D. Supportive Illustrations
All of the illustrations contribute to the material and are on the same page as their textual references. Tables and graphs are as simple and easy to read as possible. All information needed in graphs and tables is provided in a form requiring no further explanation.
E. Layout and Design
Color, design, and layout of material are attractive, and stimulate interest, without being too busy. There is good balance between print and blank space.

Very colorful and lots of things going on. Little text boxes next to pictures helps draw you into the pictures and see what they are representing.
F. Visual Quality
Paper weight used is heavy enough so that print from one side cannot be seen on the other side. Text is written in a font size that is easy to read, and the main body is not written in capital letters.
G. Headings/Cueing Devices
Clear headings are provided for each topic area. Cueing devices (shading, boxes, arrows, etc.) are used to direct attention to key points.
H. Approximate Reading Level
Reading level is at 6th, 7th or 8th grade level.

I think the reading level is 5th or 6 and above. Some of it is the concept is older as well.

Web Sites
A. Currentness of Information
Web site information is current; there are no broken hyperlinks.
B. Readability
Text size is adequate for viewing. Good contrast between text and background.
C. Navigation

Overall Comments on Resource Reviewed

A. Positive Points of the Reviewed Resource:
I liked the book. It was clever, colorful and a lot of information packed into a small space.
B. Points that Could Be Improved:
I was confused as to audience age. The monster concept was for younger children while text was for a little older.
C. General Comments
In general, I would suggest it for a teacher to use as a resource or use as a bulletin board idea; could be used as a spring board for a larger discussion. It could also be a good reference for a 5th or 6th grader writing a report on food choices, or health.
D. Overall Summary
I liked the book.

Reviewer Rating
Any opinions expressed about any resource in this web site (either expressly or implied) are solely and completely the responsibility of the reviewer and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior.


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