Jolene: Adventures of a Junk Food Queen -- Review & Giveaway


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with the Children's Book Review and Alexa Palmer to participate in this virtual blog tour and will receive a small stipend. All opinions are my own.

Do you have a picky eater? I know so many kids who only like junk food. It can be so hard to get kids to eat healthy. Today I get to share an award-winning book that teaches kids about healthy eating in a fun way! The book is Jolene: Adventures of a Junk Food Queen by Alexa Palmer and Catharine Kaufman and illustrated by John Martinez and Hayden Mills. 

From the Publisher:

Jolene: Adventures of a Junk Food Queen 
Created by Alexa Palmer and Catharine Kaufman and Illustrated by John Martinez and Hayden Mills | Ages 4-10 | 60 Pages |  Publisher: Palmer and Kaufman 
ISBN-13: 978-0-615136301

Publisher’s Book Summary: Jolene loves junk food. She loves it so much she wears red licorice in her hair–and pink taffy underwear! The Munch Bunch calls her “The Junk Food Queen.” Then, one night in her dreams, she meets a bunch of cool characters who take her on an incredible, edible journey into a world of juicy fruits, super salads, and yummy smoothies.



Alexa Palmer resides in Rancho Mirage, California, where she has raised three daughters- Alexandra, Stephanie and Christina. A preschool teacher who has been passionate about writing since the age of 8, Alexa also has a background in performing arts from the University of London and Oxford University. She is a published songwriter formerly studying under the tutelage of the late Buddy Kaye and is excited about launching the musical version she created for Jolene.

Catharine Kaufman is a nationally syndicated food columnist, blogger, author, magazine writer and TV chef. She credits her growing expertise in good nutrition for her survival and recovery from breast cancer and shares that expertise to help keep her family, friends and fans in good health. Writing her columns under the moniker “The Kitchen Shrink,” Catharine dispenses advice on topics that include smart grocery shopping, food facts and folklore, unforgettable dinners on a shoestring, solving cooking disasters and putting the skids on colds, flu and other ailments with healing ‘food chemistry.’

Showing off her humorous culinary savvy, Catharine was featured in a “Kitchen Shrink” miniseries produced by Time-Warner, which included such segments as Kitchen Play Date with Kids, and Pantry Preparedness. She also did a stint as radio host and sidekick of restaurant reviewer and food guru Merrill Shindler on KLSX, Los Angeles. As a founder and partner of, the healthy gourmet cooking and food safety blog, Catharine has been garnering kudos from foodies around the world for her featured columns on that long-established site.

Through its offbeat humor, Catharine’s well-received children’s book with collaborator Alexa Palmer, “Jolene – Adventures of a Junk Food Queen,” motivated her two daughters and other children to participate in her cooking classes, as well as to acquire healthier eating habits than many of their peers. “Jolene…” has also been endorsed by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and is being sold on Amazon and other outlets. Ever since discovering her inner foodie, Catharine has been in her element, focusing her energy and passion on weaning as many people—but especially children and young adults—off toxic foods and guiding them on a fun journey to healthy living.

From Me:

Jolene is a junk food queen. She eats candy, pizza, chips, and such all day long. She even wears her junk food. She has red licorice in her hair and a chip belt and more. Now that in itself is a bit unimaginable as a parent. But I know there are kids who only eat pasta and chicken nuggets. I know there are kids who fight until they can eat junk food and do not want to heat the healthy food. This story has Jolene go on an adventure in a dream. She visits a magical place where there are people representing food. Through the journey Jolene sees and learns more about the junk food and how healthy food can make one have more energy. She learns so much and actually finds out she likes healthy food. 

The first healthy food she likes is smoothies. In this magic land she even makes her own smoothies. Plus, the book shares some smoothie recipes at the end! After smoothies she tries salad and loves it. The book is fun and has bouncing and movement as well as colors and interesting characters. Jolene meets all these magical people, and they vary from making candy with sugar and chemicals to bouncy salad men. Now I know in the real world it is much harder to get a child to try and enjoy eating fruits and vegetables, the book makes it so fun that perhaps a child will at least try them. It is a fun book that has such a magical twist. I hope you will check it out!

Now my own secret way was starting Hazel at an early age. Once she was eating solid food, I always served vegetables with lunch and dinner. I would order a side of vegetables or salad when we ate out even with pizza. We did not force her to eat them, but they were always there on her plate. She usually at least ate some of them, and her friends' parents were shocked when she asked for salad at their houses at a young age. 


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  • A signed copy of Jolene: Adventures of a Junk Food Queen