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Lena of Vegitopia and the Mystery of the Missing Animals is a vegan-themed fairy tale about how one brave little girl stands up for the animal friends of her land and helps rescue them from being eaten. The book promotes messages of kindness, compassion, and action and shows that magical things can happen when you harness the power of veggies.
Part of a new wave of vegetarian and vegan-themed children’s literature, this hardcover book is a fairy tale set in a vegan kingdom. The book begins when lettuce farmer Lena Lentil Beans learns that baby animals across the kingdom have gone missing. She soon joins forces with Princess Vegi-Terry-Anne and the two set out to find a foul-smelling castle that is the home of outcast and meat-eater Carnista. We soon learn the sickly villain wants the baby animals for her dinner plate.
But since this is a vegetarian fairy tale, the animals are saved and the villain is transformed when she eats a piece of carrot cake made by Lena.
My 1 1/2-year-old son still doesn’t know that many people around him eat animals, so he was puzzled the first time we read it. But since then, he’s asked me to read it many more times. For older vegetarian children who are aware that some people eat animals and some don’t, the book provides an engaging story that celebrates vegetables and reinforces the vegetarian values of compassion and nonviolence.
As a bonus, the book closes with the recipe for Lena’s Vegan Carrot Cake.
Best for: Vegan preschoolers and elementary school students.
Recipes: One vegan recipe
Photos: No photos, but full-color illustrations on every page
From Vegan Street
review by Justice Beske (age 12)
I liked Lena of Vegitopia and the Mystery of the Missing Animals. I think it has a good story, and it is a good book for introducing young kids to a story with a message of compassion. The drawings were very well done and I think it’s a good read for all ages. The story is about a girl named Lena who helps the mother animals find their kids who have mysteriously disappeared in the peaceful land of Vegitopia. I think the character of Carnista, who is the antagonist, could have been depicted with more sympathy but otherwise, it was well done.
It might be scary for some littler kids but it all works out in the end and I think that most will enjoy the adventure of Lena. It is a very colorful book with a unique art style. I think it would make a good gift. There is even a recipe for Lena’s magical vegan carrot cake in it that parents and their children can bake together and appreciate the story even more.