Burger Boy by Alan Durant and Mei Matsuoka

Most parents are probably guilty of threatening their kids with various dire consequences in a bid to get them to do something, for example, “If you don’t brush your teeth, they will turn yellow/brown/green/black and fall out one by one!” or “Keep your toys or I’m going to throw them away!” Of course, these are idle threats that don’t actually materialise. Usually.

In Burger Boy, however, the protagonist Benny gets a taste of what happens when he fails to heed his mother’s words about eating nothing but burgers: “If you don’t watch out, you’ll turn into a burger one day,” she warns.

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And true enough, one fateful day, it happens: he turns into a giant burger — one that walks and talks but a burger nonetheless — and is pursued by salivating dogs, cows and even other hungry boys.

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The highlights of this hilarious book, though, are the adorable illustrations that are delightful to look at and really help to bring out the absurdness of the whole situation.

Of course, the point of this cautionary tale is to drive home the importance of having a balanced diet, and I love how the message is put through to kids in an accessibly lighthearted manner. The unexpected twist at the end is also a nice touch, and makes the point that it’s not a good idea to eat too much of anything — be it burgers or something supposedly healthier.

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