Pump it! Chapter 2 of Vinny’s book “Cook Up A Story”


The outdoors and exercise go hand-in-hand

Vinny’s messages hidden in  Pump It!

In Chapter 2 of the print version of Cook Up A Story,  read Birthday bumps. It’s a hair-raising adventure about boys on the river, frogs, and wishes gone bad. Then make two delicious campfire treats: wings on a stick and birthday cupcakes baked in orange skins. Use a campfire, a barbecue, or your oven. Flip and Tigger introduce the idea of food as fuel. Vinny targets carbohydrates and suggests ways to gear up for active lives. Exercise is the chapter’s theme.

Here are a few multiple-choice questions you can ask your kids as you read Vinny’s story together. It’s an interactive way to help your family get the most from the tale. Use the story line to link up with great ideas for healthy living. Let’s get cooking!

Birthday Bumps: Understanding the story

What did Flip want for his birthday?
1. A gaming sensation… Grand Theft Auto
2. A taste sensation… Frogs legs
3. Xtreme Tech… the iPhone 5                                                            Answer—2

What did Flip do to make his wish come true?
1. Rode a log across the river to froggie paradise
2. Took a boat to France where frogs legs jump off the menu on every corner
3. Sulked in his cottage waiting for the rain to stop                       Answer—1


How did Flip’s friend Tigger feel about this adventure?
1. So excited he could hardly eat
2. So afraid, he was frozen to the spot and could only watch as Flip floated away
3. Unhappy but duty-bound to help his friend                                           Answer—3

What danger did they encounter?
1. An unexpected dump of water in the area they were exploring… drowning
2. Strong currents as they tried to escape from the deluge… drowning
3. An unstable craft as their log struggled in the river… drowning      Answer—All of these

What consequences did the boys face?
1. An angry and disappointed parent
2. Loss of tenting privileges
3. Feelings of shame over how things played outAnswer                     Answer—All of these

What did the boys learn?
1. When you don’t have a key ingredient, make a substitution
2. Rivers can be dangerous. Practise water safety
3. Teaching others wins brownie points with the parents                  Answer—All of these

Barbecuing cakes in orange skins

Recipe links

  • Whip up a simple cake batter from eggs, ground nuts, and sugar and bake it in orange skins. Or barbecue an appetizer featuring chicken wings. Check out:
    • Campfire birthday cakes (or if you have a first edition where Vinny recommends using a cake mix at the cottage, you can find the easy, from-scratch recipe here)
    • Birdies on a stick
  • Follow the link for a recipe for frogs legs. Read:
    • Still want to try frogs legs?

Nutrition links

  • Healthier foods featured:
    • low-salt seasonings
    • hot spices
    • lean meat and other useful protein sources
    • protein to moderate effects of sugar and refined flour
  • Ideally, a serving of food should have no more than 5 grams of sugar. But, hey, it’s Flip’s birthday, so we need a cake! Our cake recipe comes with 31 grams of sugar a serving. So we’ve left out the refined flour and packed the cake with protein and good fats (eggs, cream cheese, and nuts), to discourage dastardly sugar spikes. Read:
    • Eat carbs and protein at the same time
  • What foods make good fuel for exercise and activity? Read:
    • Eating to win
    • Pump up to jump
  • Do we need to follow recipes to the letter? Read:
    • Don’t be afraid to make a substitution
  • How can we reduce salt in our food? Read:
    • Sea salt is dynamite

Pond life

Food facts

  • Our food supply is limited. We need to learn how to protect it. Read:
    • Frogs make a comeback
  • Nutrition in one serving of birthday campfire cakes: 268 Calories, 10 g protein,10 g fat (of which half is the good kind), 38 g carbs (of which 31 g are sugar, 2 g are fiber, and 5g are starch). Good source of iron, riboflavin, and niacin, Vitamins B6. B12, D, and E, and folate.
  • Birdies on a stick is a lesson in making substitutions. Replacing lean frogs legs with fatty chicken wings is not ideal. But because frogs legs aren’t readily available, we shouldn’t be afraid to try something else. To make the wings healthier, we snip off the fatty skin. Barbecuing allows fat to drip away.

Further learning

  • Check out the references in Read more… For a novel for tweens about the importance of exercise, read:
    • Fat Boy Swim
  • Discuss unfamiliar foods enjoyed by cultures other than your own. Read:
    • Jumping Jehosaphat

Go back to find links to Vinny’s secret messages in other chapters of Cook Up A Story

Consider ordering your copy of Cook Up A Story today.

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