Two new sequels to Lulu and the Hunger Monster have been published simultaneously by Free Spirit. It's twins!!
Jesse and the Snack Food Genie looks at healthy eating for kids, while Frankie versus the Food Phantom deals with the local food system. They're a perfect introduction to the world of food for ages 7-10.
Beware! Monsters, fantastical creatures & ghosts lie within!
When Lulu’s mother’s van breaks down, money for food becomes tight and the Hunger Monster comes back into their lives. Only visible to Lulu, Hunger Monster is a troublemaker who follows her around making it hard for her to concentrate in school. How can she help her mom and defeat the Monster when Lulu has promised never to speak its name to anyone? -- Join with Lulu as she battles the Hunger Monster. Find out a special message of support from actor and anti-hunger activist Jeff Bridges at the end.
You can learn much more at the full Hunger Monster website: hunger-monster.com
Jesse loves him some junk food. He whips up a big combo of snacks and accidentally summons the Snack Food Genie - a sweet, salty and highly processed figure, who is determined to keep Jesse snacking between snacks. Jesse has ambitions to get a scholarship to a hip hop dance class, but he's lacking energy. With help from his friend Gabriel, he takes on the Genie and helps his family discover a new way to cook and eat together.
Frankie lives in a big city with her grandfather, who struggles to grow some produce in a window box. Frankie has a school project to learn more about the food system and with her friends thinks about converting an empty lot into a community garden. The Food Phantom who is a ghostly figure who haunts the lot has other ideas. How can Frankie find out why the Food Phantom is so against them using the lot and how can she get the community to rally round to make the garden a reality?
The story that started it all! Lulu is a sensitive and empowering look at hunger in the classroom. It considers what kids can do to self-advocate and to help others. Lulu won a Social Justice Book Award in 2021 and was reissued in a bilingual English/Spanish edition as Lulú y el Monstruo del Hambre. (Available here: https://www.teachercreatedmaterials.com/families/p/lulu-and-the-hunger-monster-lulu-y-el-monstruo-del-hambre/899851/)
Once kids have enough to eat, they need to take a look at what they are eating. Jesse takes a look at the challenges that kids face in terms of eating a balanced range of foods and what they and their families can do to help.
Check out the trailer for Jesse.
Once kids and families are eating well at home, they can begin to look outwards at the food system in their town or city. Does it serve people well? Could it be improved? Why does the mysterious food phantom want to stop Frankie and her friends from turning an old abandoned lot into a community garden? Check out the trailer for Frankie.
The series is a great start to conversation on food security, healthy eating and the food system. The online leader's guide has a range of activities and discussion topics to get you going.
In his day job as CEO of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, CA, Erik is a recognized innovator and leader in America’s food bank network. His book, ‘Hunger into Health,’ with an introduction by Jeff Bridges, has been a rallying point for those who want to move from simple charity to building long-term food security. He is responsible for creating innovative national award-winning programs such as ‘Healthy School Pantry’ and ‘Kid’s Farmer’s Market’. He is a previous Board Member of the California Association of Food Banks and sat on the National Advisory Council of Feeding America.
Erik has a background as a writer and filmmaker and served as a principal in two production companies. His short film, ‘The Gallery,’ starring Helena Bonham Carter was selected for the London Film Festival. He has won an International Television Association Award for writing and directing educational drama. You can find out more about Erik at eriktalkin.com
Erik holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He wrote ‘Lulu and the Hunger Monster’ in response to the Foodbank’s work with many families facing food insecurity, in order to help inspire kids to seek short term and long-term solutions. The two sequels to Lulu build on the message of the first book, by getting kids to focus on what they are eating and where it comes from.