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Snack Time with Ari!

The goal here is to encourage families in urban neighborhoods to introduce their children to the names of healthy snack options.

Photo of Ramona Ross
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Title: Snack Time with Ari!

Dear Parents,

Here’s a quick guide to using this book!  The words in bold are words that you should focus on teaching your child.  These should be stated clearly and accompanied by you pointing to the corresponding picture.  Throughout the book, Ari’s dad will ask her questions.  During these instances, you can pose these questions to your child to answer.  If the question involves your child pointing out an item, feel free to have your child identify other items on the page during your reading time.  After reading, it’s a great idea to make the snack in real life with your child to enjoy!

Happy Reading!

Pg. 1 – {Ari is playing on a playground in Philadelphia.  She is surrounded by high-rise buildings and her dad is watching her play}

Dad: Ari its time to head home for a snack!

Ari: Food!

Pg. 2 {Ari & her dad walking down the sidewalk, passing row homes on their way back to their home.}

Dad: What would you like for snack time Ari? Let's make a healthy choice!

 Ari: Hmmmm let me think...ants on a log!

 Dad: That sounds delicious! Let's make that!

Pg. 3 {Ari and her dad are in their kitchen, wearing chef hats and vegetables are in front of them}

Dad: Okay Ari we need three ingredients for ants on a log. Can you count to three?

Ari: One, two, three!

Dad: Nice job! Okay Ari, the first thing we need is celery to make the log. Can you point to the celery on the counter?”

Ari: *points to celery*  {Other vegetables on the counter for the child reader to learn and point to independently with a parent.  Can offer a reminder to do this on the page}

Dad: Fantastic! What color is the celery?

Ari: Green!

Pg. 4 {Ari and her dad at the counter, various condiments in front of them – i.e. ketchup, mustard, mayo, peanut butter}.

Dad: Next, we need peanut butter! Can you point to the peanut butter on the counter?

Ari: *points to peanut butter*

Dad: Excellent! What color is the peanut butter?

Ari: Brown!

Pg. 5 {Ari and her dad at the counter, various boxed snacks in front of them – cereal, raisins, chips, popcorn}.

Dad: The last thing we need are the raisins to be our ants! Can you point to the raisins on the counter?”

Ari: *points to raisins*

Dad: Good! What color are the raisins?

Ari: Black!

Pg. 6 {Ari and her dad are in front of the three ingredients and several utensils}

Dad: Now it’s time to put it all together.  Can you pick up a spoon and place the peanut butter in our log?

Ari: *picks up spoon* Can you please help me Dad?

Dad: Sure Ari! Nice job asking for help!

Pg. 7 {Ari and her dad in front of the three ingredients}

Dad: What comes next?

Ari: Raisins!

Dad: Correct! Make it rain raisins!

Ari: I love raisins! Raisin dance! Raisin dance!

Pg. 8 {Ari and her dad sitting on the steps in front of their Philadelphia Row Home}

Dad: This looks delicious Ari! Here is a log for you with lots of ants! What do you say?

Ari: Thank you Dad!

Dad: You’re welcome! How does it taste?

Dad: Yummy! It makes me want to do a happy dance!!

Ari: Oh Ari, your happy dances are the best!

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

I envision this book to reach an audience of underrepresented families of color, as well as depicting fathers taking on nontraditional roles in the household (i.e. childcare and cooking). I envision this book becoming a tool for parents to teach their children new vocabulary that extends into fostering a healthy lifestyle as a family.

Share your suggested book title

Snack time with Ari!

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

Please see attached PDF. Without descriptors, word count is 230.

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

This story includes vocabulary from the evidenced-based Tier 1 list as provided in the resource list. This story also included tips for parents on how to read, enunciate, and repeat keywords and phrases throughout the story. This story also gives parents the opportunity to link the vocabulary words with visual representations of the word (i.e. a picture of raisins). The Mayors Book Club resource also provided, indicates that repeating the book, engaging and enjoying the book, asking questions, and doing more with the books, are all empirically based tips to assist parents with teaching new language. This is all possible with my story, as it provides questions for parents to ask, opportunities for the children to answer questions and point to objects for engagement. My story also offers the chance to make a snack in real life, thus doing more the book.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I currently live and work out of the South Jersey area, which closely borders Philadelphia. Through my clinical work in the trauma field, I've worked with several families in this area. I've also dedicated my professional work to working with children and families in underprivileged, urban areas.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

This imagery in this manuscript reflects an urban area in terms of where the main characters live, walk, and play. Urban contexts are often referred to as food desserts, excluding healthy food options. The food cited in this story is not only healthy, but accessible especially in neighborhoods where things like fresh vegetables are not easily attained.

Location: Country

United States of America

Location: State or Department

New Jersey

Location: City

Maple Shade

Tell us more about you / your team

I attained my doctorate in School Psychology from Rutgers University. My clinical interests include traditional school-based assessment, as well as trauma. I seek to actively contribute to lower-income urban neighborhoods, as I've learned first hand the lack of resources that are present. It is a priority for me to provide families in these contexts with accessible educational resources and encouragement as they set out to support their child's development. In my past, I've contributed therapeutic, academic, and research to the communities at the focus of this challenge (i.e. urban communities).

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

I'm inspired by the work from the artist Vashti Harrison. Two of her pictures are attached here. Visually I see Ari coming to life as a cartoon-like character with very human features and expressions.

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are a formal part of a University or Research Institution

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Photo of Dawnnbooks .

Very informative and nicely presented.
An easy read.