What is it?
An entertaining and educational book on an array of fruits in Malaysia. This book is part of the author’s ongoing collection of books on the topic of healthy foods. The other titles include Hayley’s Vegemania Garden (2010), Hayley’s Fruitastic Garden (2010) and Hayley’s Happylicious Series.
Who is it by?
By multi-award winning author and advocate of healthy eating Mohana Gill, illustrated by Tan Vay Fern and published by MPH Group Publishing.
What is it about?
The book features 15 delicious fruits commonly found in Malaysia through the adventures of Hayley and her best friend Zac as they go in search of the Treasures of Fruitastic Malaysia. Along their way, the two friends, who share a love for fruits and vegetables, meet interesting and lovable characters – some, native animals in Malaysia. These animals not only help Hayley and Zac on their search but also share interesting facts and the benefits of their favourite fruits.
The colourful and beautifully illustrated book also highlights some easy recipes using local fruits as its main ingredients that the whole family can prepare together.
What can children learn from it?
They will learn about the abundance and delicious fruits found in Malaysia in a simple and entertaining way. There are also interesting facts on each fruit highlighted, such as the origins of guava (Central America), what makes rambutan different from the other fruits and the fact that water makes up 92% of a watermelon’s weight.
Children will also learn the importance and benefit of each fruit and how they taste. For example: Pineapple flesh can be sweet and tart with a rich flavour. It contains the enzyme bromelain that breaks down protein which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and is good for digestion. Besides, children will also understand that the crown of a pineapple can be cut off and planted in soil to grow.
What did I like about it?
Firstly, I loved the illustrations in each page depicting the fruits including banana, mango, durian, mangosteen, jambu air, coconut, starfruit and dragonfruit.
I also loved how the book highlights the enthusiasm, positive attitude and good manners of the main characters in their search for the missing treasures. The facts on each fruit will increase your child’s knowledge, while parents certainly can learn a lot from this book too.
Apart from the story, Mohana Gill also encourages good eating habits and offers 15 easy and delicious recipes using the highlighted fruits in the book. The dishes require little or no cooking, with vegan substitutions too. What a great way to spend time together and give children the idea that there are fun ways to enjoy fruits, apart from eating them raw.
Where to get it?
Hayley’s Fruitastic Malaysia can be found at most major bookstores including MPH and its online platform, MPHOnline.com. The price is RM22.90.
Should you get it?
As a great way to learn about different fruits in Malaysia and their benefit as well as encouraging good eating habits, I would recommend it!