Wilfred Toadflax’s surprise birthday is a picnic feast of picnic feast of cakes and pies and jellies and fruits. It’s the kind of high carb meal that makes your teeth hurt. Mr. Apple’s grace suggests that the food is local, but not as he suggest from “our green fields.” By any standard, this is a gourmand’s delight. But why is it that so many children’s picnic stories encourage overeating and unhealthy meals?

Features Image: Jill Barklem, Brambly Hedge: Spring Story. illustrated by Jill Barklem. New York: Philomel  Books, 1980.