Author: Paul M. Kramer
Illustrated by: Mari Kuwayama
Diet! Diet! Diet! Not another book on diets. It’s a book for kids about dieting. As drastic as that sounds, the concept is right on target. One out of three kids in the United States is considered obese or overweight. Canada fairs a tad better with one in four children considered obese or overweight.
Maggie Goes On a Diet is a story about an overweight young girl that decides to go on a diet and successfully loses the needed weight. It is a quick-read that is beautifully illustrated. However, here are a few points in the book that did not set well with me…
• What age is the book geared for? Is it for elementary-age, pre-teen, or teens?
There is a lot of well-placed rhyming throughout the book. However, the rhyming gives the appearance of a book geared for elementary-age children while the setting at the end of the book ends in high school.
• Maggie was considered clumsy and lacking athletic ability while overweight. Not all overweight children are clumsy or lack athletic ability.
• The kids slowed down in their teasing of Maggie when she lost the weight. What message is this sending to the bully? Is it okay to tease someone that is overweight? Is it okay to tease anybody about their physical appearance?
• Maggie is befriended by a new bunch of girls once she loses her weight. Whether a person is fat or lean should not have a bearing on a true friendship. Physical appearance alone is poor criteria to base a solid relationship on.
Despite the above questions I had, the book does have its positive points. Maggie loses the desired weight over a period of one year. She does this by learning to eat healthier foods and by staying physically active. It was not a fad diet. The diet took time and effort. She showed dedication by sticking to the diet as the weight slowly came off. That sends the right message.
The author, Paul M. Kramer, has done a nice job in showing how a young girl can successfully lose weight. At the end of the book, the author addresses the cruel teasing and judging young people get caught up in. Mr. Kramer also breaks up the story with a little bit of humor. My recommendation though is that you read the book first. If you think your child can relate to the age and personality of Maggie, then you have a “green light.” Maggie Goes on a Diet will encourage your kids to make healthier food choices, and help them see the need to increase their physical activity. You Can Buy it ON Amazon
As a side note. All children should be helped to have good self-esteem regardless of their weight. Self-esteem should be a result of other good qualities you have helped your children develop.
Reviewer’s Disclaimer: Maggie Goes On a Diet was purchased by me. It is now part of my personal library. I received no monetary compensation from the author or publisher that influenced this review.