I will Never NOT EVER eat a tomato – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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For all those picky eaters out there. Lauren Child’s quirky book brings solutions to your dinner table!

I will Never NOT EVER eat a tomato

By Lauren Child

Published by Orchard Books, UK, 2000

Age: 4-8

Themes: Food, likes, dislikes, imagination, picky eaters

Winner: of the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Norfolk Children’s Book Award

First Lines/Synopsis:

I have this little sister, Lola. She is small and very funny. Sometimes I have to keep an eye on her. Sometimes Mum and Dad ask me to give her her dinner. This is a hard job because she is a very fussy eater.

Lola’s brother, Charlie, comes up with a pretty cunning plan to entice his stubborn sister to eat some foods she normally categorically refuses to eat. They are at the dinner table and Lola states fourteen foods (all illustrated which she won’t eat, terminating with the dreaded tomato, which is on the NEVER, but NEVER list! Thus, Lola is lured into trying (and, of course, enjoying) green drops from Greenland (peas), orange twiglets from Jupiter (carrots), cloud fluff from mount Fuji (guess!) and ocean nibbles from the supermarket under the sea (fish fingers).

Charlie is astounded when at the end of the meal Lola asks him to pass her a bowl of ********. He double checks she really wants them, and you’ll want to know her response.

Why I like this Book: 

I love the kiddy creativity and logic. Lola declares to Charlie that the long orange things on the table sure look like carrots. But, as Charlie points out, carrots don’t grow on Jupiter, so these have to be orange twiglets!

“That”s true,” said Lola, “well, I might just try one if they’re all the way from Jupiter. Mm, not bad,” she says, taking another bite. 

This is a witty, colorful, unpredictable plan to help the fussy become a little less so in their eating habits. I do love Lauren Child’s quirky kids, Lola and Charlie. I wonder if this book could encourage non-Brits to enjoy Marmite?


In pairs, with real vegetables/foods, take it in turns of coming up with creative possibilities for renaming them.

To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.  Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays  badge in the right sidebar.

Lola and Charlie on Youtube

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23 Responses to I will Never NOT EVER eat a tomato – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Okay I think the white cloud fluff from Mt Fuji is cauliflower..lol. Is it a bowl of tomatoes…. I love tomatoes.. How clever and very creative this author is in helping the pickiest of eaters, using imagination. I wonder what name Charlie came up with for brussel sprouts. I tolerate them, but don’t like them…lol. Great choice Joanna.

  2. Great pick! I read this book when I was in Kindergarten. It was good! 🙂

  3. Carrie F says:

    My son loves these books, and I really love the fact that Charlie and Lola have such a sweet relationship — despite the fact that Lola can be very opinionated. Very nice!

  4. I love it when there’s a book written about me, even if they use someone else’s name… 😉 I was a VERY picky eater as a child. My uncle solved my cousins’ refusal to eat tomatoes by declaring that it was National Tomato Week, and everyone HAD to eat tomatoes. By the end of the week, all the kids liked ’em. I had my own National Tomato Week after I was grown, and indeed, it worked! I love tomatoes now!

    I enjoy Lauren Child — thanks for adding this one to our PPB repertoire, Joanna!

  5. Gotta read this because I have a ‘Mater-Hater in the family! Okay, so she’s 18, and she will eat them when served on ‘foreign soil’, but only to save face! Thanks Joanna, I’ll be checking this one out!

  6. I love Lola and Charlie too. They are hilarious. Thanks, Joanna!

  7. Darshana says:

    My kids love the Charlie and Lola books, haven’t read this title though. Will have to look for it. Thanks!

  8. Charlie and Lola are so sweet together. I adore Charlie’s endless patience and inventiveness in his relationship with Lola. My boys used to watch the TV show, too, and I always enjoyed their British accents emanating from the living room 🙂

  9. Joanna says:

    Oo, I had no idea it had been made into a TV show!!

  10. Oh how I wish I’d had this book for my very picky son! It sounds delightful! And I have to laugh because I HATED tomatoes until I was 32! I couldn’t even stand to have them touch lettuce in a salad. Now I really like them – don’t ask me what happened 🙂 Picky eating is a big issue with lots of kids, so I’m really glad to be adding this title to our list!

  11. I love the opening! I’m totally hooked and wanting to find this book! Hopefully it will be at the library!!!

  12. Very clever book. I too do not like to eat RAW tomatoes. I will not eat them in salads, on sandwiches — YUCK! Only in a sauce. So, I find this book quite amusing. Nice choice.

  13. Leslie Rose says:

    The author must have been spying on my kitchen table.

  14. When my boys were younger, they used to watch Charlie and Lola on tv. They always have something good to teach kids!

  15. I think Enzo and I have checked out Lola and Charlie on other adventures.

  16. Oh Joanna…I absolutely LOVE this book…had never heard of it before…but I’d better get a copy for myself…I was a picky eater…my oldest son was and now my daughter’s little boy is. And the tomato reminds me of my little Tomato Turner. 🙂
    Hmmm…are the white clouds mashed potatoes by any chance?

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