Strange foods, body image, and early childhood learning converge in Hollywood

Junior League Los Angeles hosts a literacy and healthy living event to launch Peculiar Produce.

Young people and their caring adults from all walks of life joined Junior League Los Angeles to celebrate healthy eating, body positivity, and literacy with the launch of a Peculiar Produce the Alphabet Book written by Thomas Moya and Arthur Grau. 

The Larchmont Charter Elementary School in Hollywood, California, and Pacific Clinics welcomed children and families for volunteer-led activities inspired by the book’s characters. From Ashanti, the dancing asparagus, to Izumi the ice cream bean, to Udo the ulu, young and adult readers alike explored unusual foods.

Participants engaged in conversations about diversity and what it means to be different through themed imagination stations, including a craft exploration table, hands-on seed planting, sing-alongs, and read-alouds. On February 26, 2022, the free literacy-based event saw guests snapping Peculiar Produce-themed selfies in the community garden while others learned about exotic produce, body inclusivity, and healthy eating.  

Families took free copies of Peculiar Produce, organic ‘Casey the Carrot’ seed packets, and free at-home activities supporting family conversations on the book’s inclusive themes. In addition to building local community and peculiar produce tasting, attendees also received access to literacy support program information and free books for adults and teens. 

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Thomas Moya


participants color on samples from the book

Peculiar Produce take-home accessories