The Sun in My Tummy

The Sun in My Tummy
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
March 29, 2022
Buy This Book
The cooking of a healthy breakfast moves from parent-child bonding to an eloquent conversation about energy, the growth of plants, and the miraculous ways the sun’s light nourishes us all.
It began with the sun,
Who showers the earth
With heat and light―
Tiny packets of energy.
How does a home-cooked breakfast give a little girl the energy she needs for a brand-new day? In gently expressive language, her mother takes readers on a journey into the earth where sleepy seeds are tickled awake and grow into golden oats; into blueberry patches, where green leaves break apart water and air to build sweet sugar; and into a pasture where sun becomes grass, becomes cow, becomes milk.

Author Laura Alary’s free verse breaks big ideas into child-sized pieces, making Sun in My Tummy an accessible introduction to the concepts of matter and energy, and how the sun’s light becomes fuel for our bodies through the food we eat. Andrea Blinick’s mixed-media illustrations pair the cozy and homelike with the glowing and dramatic as she takes readers from the kitchen to the farm field and to the sky and back. A concluding Author’s Note shares further information about photosynthesis for young readers.

Editor review

1 review
Oatmeal, oatmeal in the pot!
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
As someone who is a BIG fan of oatmeal (even though I cook it in the microwave), I loved this in depth look at how oatmeal gets to the point where it is bubbling away in a pot on the stove, waiting to be eaten! From sleepy seeds in the earth to hungry plants, we see how the oats grow. The journey of blueberries is also followed, with great attention to how the plants produce their own food and how seeds are spread. Milk also gets some attention, with a fun picture of a cow swimming in the little girl's cereal bowl, because of the grass that cows consume.

While there is more technical detail about photosynthesis in the author's note at the back of the book, this is a good introduction to the concept of plants harnessign the sun to make energy for themselves, and also energy to pass on to human consumers. The idea that a bowl of oatmeal, blueberries, and milk all contain the sun is a happy way to think about nutrition, and perhaps a good way to entice reluctant eaters. Alary's language is very poetic, and the book reads more like free verse than a science text.
Good Points
Blinick's illustrations are very sunny, with yellow being used to good effect when the sun is shining. The little girl and her mother, who are dark complected, have expressive faces, and the trees and plants are rendered in exuberant greens. A small dog, bees, and a variety of birds make for more movement and interest on the pages. I'm always a fan of lots of details in picture books. When reading out loud to a small child, it's good to have plenty of objects to locate on a page to increase vocabulary.

There are lots of children's books about food, from the amusing Jory John's The Food Group series and Funk's Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast, as well as books connected to specific foods, like Anderson's I LOVE Strawberries, Sriram's Dumpling Day or Saeed's Bilal Cooks Daal, but I don't know that I have seen one that focuses on the science of how the food grows and the nutrition it provides. It's never too early to introduce STEM subjects to young readers, and this is a great title for a budding young scientist. I just wish it had been around when my own children were young; I would definitely have preferred this in the rotation over the silly Daisy Lee Ate the T.V. or Baby Blue Cat and the Whole Batch of Cookies!
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