Once Upon a Pear: Color Me Curious!



Giant PearToday’s coloring pages come from Ben Mann, my good friend and the illustrator for one of my picture books. No pears in Once Upon a Parsnip, though–unfortunately, since he paints pears so beautifully! Maybe the next book….

In fact, no story has been written about this giant pear–and surely there’s a story here!

Get out the crayons and ask some leading questions to help kids come up with a story for the painting: How did the pear grow so enormous? Who’s the guy in the hat and boots? What is he thinking? What do you think he’s going to do? What’s up with the ladder? What’s going to happen to the pear? To the man?

Oh–and don’t forget to sneak a bowl of pears on the table while the kids are coloring. Cut them in chunks and stick a toothpick in each piece to keep their hands juice-free while they’re working. Yummy fun!

Color Page 10-Giant Pear

Here’s another pair of Ben’s pear paintings to color–just in case the story of the giant pear has legs and the coloring’s done before the story is. (Oooo, there’s a thought! Is that enormous pear going to grow a pair of legs and run away?!)

Yellow PearsColor Page 7-Yellow Pears

Red Pears

Color Page 11-Pears in Dish

Happy Story-Making!

Barbara Jean the Story Queen

Healthy Food

All artwork courtesy of Ben Mann.



First, a disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not a chef. I’m not even a mom. What I know about healthy food and healthy eating I’ve learned by reading and doing, just like you.

What I am is a children’s book author. A Story Queen! My area of expertise is FUN. In the last dozen years, I’ve written a number of entertaining, award-winning picture books–about monsters, cats, Disney princesses–and veggies, of all things. 

I’m big on imagination. Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli encourages kids (the way my dad encouraged my siblings and me) to think of broccoli as crunchy, munchy, fun-to-eat trees. Once Upon a Parsnip is a fairytale rematch between Little Red Riding Hood (a vegetarian) and the Big Bad Wolf (NOT a vegetarian). Scary fun!

On the surface, neither of my veggie books is really about healthy eating–they’re just plain fun. But the fun is subversive: both books introduce and normalize the idea of eating healthy, fresh-from-the-garden vegetables. (Never underestimate the power of fun to get your kids to try something new!)

My goal in these pages is to find and share fun ways to introduce fresh fruits and vegetables to children and to normalize healthy foods and healthy eating in their experience. My means is to expose them–through you, their parents and caregivers–to food-friendly books, videos, downloadable and printable posters and coloring pages, hands-on activities and kid-friendly recipes. Anything that equates healthy food and FUN!

I’m here for you–to help you make healthy eating feel as natural to your children as breathing.

Because healthy food and healthy fun make healthy kids. And that’s something all of us can get behind.


Barbara Jean Hicks, a.k.a. “The Story Queen”

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To purchase signed, personalized copies of my picture books, visit the “Books” page on my website.  To contact me about my well regarded young author presentations for schools, or for other enquiries, send an email from the “Contact” page at barbarajeanhicks.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

2 responses on “Once Upon a Pear: Color Me Curious!

  1. John S Green says:

    Great stuff! Makes me want some gorgonzola and bartlett paired!

    • Barbara Hicks says:

      One of my favorite salads, John–spinach, Bartlett pear, walnuts and gorgonzola! Yum. Adding fruit to a green salad is a great way to get kids to eat their veggies. I like apple in a salad too.

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