Water-Licious Watermelon



Watermelon Kid

What’s more refreshing on a hot summer day than a slice of juicy watermelon? Yum!

Here’s a list of fun facts about watermelon to share with your kids:

1. Watermelon is well named–it’s 92% water!

2. This watery fruit is thought to have originated in Africa’s Kalahari Desert. (The desert would be a good place to stumble across a watermelon, no?)

3. We know the ancient Egyptians ate watermelon. Hieroglyphics of a watermelon harvest were painted on Egyptian walls almost 5,000 years ago!

4. Also in Egypt: Watermelons were placed in the tombs of kings to nourish them in the afterlife.

5. Early explorers carried watermelons with them to use as canteens. (I wonder if they used straws?)

6. Watermelon made its way to China more than a thousand years ago–and China is now its number one producer of the fruit worldwide.

7. The first cookbook published in the U.S., in 1776, contained a recipe for pickled watermelon rind.

8. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the heaviest watermelon ever was grown in Texas in 2013 and weighed in at 350.5 pounds!

9. Seedless watermelons were invented more than 50 years ago. They don’t have seeds, but they may have white “seed coats” that never matured into real seeds. The seed coats are perfectly safe to swallow. (Seed coats will NOT grow in your stomach–and neither will watermelon seeds, should you happen to swallow one by accident…)

10. 44 of the 50 U.S. states produce watermelon. Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Arizona are the leaders.

If your kids are into quizzes, after you’ve talked over these fun facts with them you might easily adapt the information as a true-false, fill-in-the-blank or multiple choice quiz. Better yet, have your child design a quiz and put their favorite grownup in the spotlight!

Yours factually,

Barbara Jean the Story Queen

Healthy Food

Information adapted from The Watermelon Board. Photo used with permission via creativecommons.orgRiley Kaminer, flickr.com.



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!

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