Color Me Cool: Watermelon




Watermelon’s distinctive striped outer shell and the rich color of its flesh make it a fun food for coloring. But before you get the red crayon out, take your kids to this UCLA Science and Food website post on watermelon to show them the fruit comes in other colors, too. Who knew?!

According to the article, a watermelon’s flavor has a lot to do with its color. A yellow Early Moonbeam, a pale Cream of Saskatchewan and a deep red Crimson Sweet have noticeably different flavors, for example.

If you have a budding chemist in your home (or want to encourage one), you’ll find in the same article lots of interesting information (with charts!) about “carotenoids,” “lycopene,” “beta-carotene” and other food-chemistry “big words” that your kids can use to impress their favorite grownups. And what kid wouldn’t be all over that?

If chemistry’s beyond your kids, just download and print a set of watermelon coloring pages, get out the crayons, and remind them of a few fun facts about watermelon while you color together.


Yours in living color,

Barbara Jean the Story Queen

Healthy Food

Clipart adapted and used with permission from via



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 I look forward to hearing from you!

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